Working Papers

The Pitfalls of Using Location Quotients to Identify Clusters and Represent Industry Specialization in Small Regions

Mariya Pominova,Todd Gabe, and Andrew Crawley (slides)

This paper examines the use of location quotients, a measure of regional business activity relative to the national benchmark, as an indicator of sectoral agglomeration in small cities and towns, and as a measure of industry specialization that might impact the number of new business startups in these places. Using establishment-level data on businesses located in Maine, our findings suggest that the addition of one "hypothetical" establishment in very small towns leads to a dramatic change in the magnitude of the region-industry location quotient. At population sizes of about 4,100 or more people, however, location quotients are reasonably stable. Regression results from an analysis of the relationship between new business activity and regional industry specialization show that the effect of location quotients on business startups switches from "inelastic" to "elastic" at a population size cutoff of about 2,600 residents. Overall, our findings suggest that researchers and practitioners should exercise caution when using location quotients to study small regions.


Population size and the job matching of college graduates

Mariya Pominova and Todd Gabe

This paper examines the relationship between a region’s population size and the match of college-educated workers to jobs that require a degree. Results show a positive relationship between degree match and county population size in the United States, with a 100,000-person increase in population associated with a 1.3-percentage point increase in the likelihood of a match. The analysis uses a person’s grade point average in college to account for the potential sorting of higher-skilled workers into larger urban areas and the dataset has individuals across a wide range of regions from small rural areas to big cities.

University of Maine Alumni Economic and Community Impact Report

Philip A. Trostel,  Megan Bailey,  Catherine Reilly deLutio,  and Mariya Pominova

Since 1940, the University of Maine has educated more than 125,000 people, helping them launch careers, start businesses, and contribute to communities near and far. The benefits of the learning and experiences that take place in Orono ripple across the state, reaching nearly every community, persisting for decades. This report presents the expansive economic and societal impacts of UMaine alumni in Maine. We surveyed thousands of former UMaine students at every stage of life. Here is what we learned.

Maine Energy Overview

Mariya Pominova and Jonathan Rubin

The state of Maine is a regional leader in renewable energy production and highly ranked nationally in proportion of renewable energy consumed. Maine is 3rd in the nation for highest percentage of renewable energy consumption as a share of state total (Maine State Energy Profile 2019). However, 61% of all primary energy consumed in Maine in 2017 was from non-renewable sources, about half of which were petroleum products. Because Maine does not have oil and natural gas reserves, it is reliant on oil and natural gas imports. This causes Maine to be subject to the volatility of national and world oil and natural gas prices. Striving towards developing the state’s renewable energy resources, such as offshore wind and solar, may help alleviate some of that volatility and drive down expenditure costs.