Assessing the Industry Cluster Approach to Economic Development: Identifying Challenges to Growing Puerto Rico’s Digital Economy

Most industry clusters have emerged on their own, even though a growing number of regions are now enacting economic development policies designed to foster industry cluster formation and expansion. Some have advised that this is the best approach for Puerto Rico to take in order to spur community renewal and revitalization. However, as policy makers in Puerto Rico commit to this strategy they must fully assess the benefits and drawbacks of industry clusters, identify the implementation challenges for Puerto Rico, and work towards decreasing the obstacles for the success of the approach.

Policy and Development Challenges of the Internet Economy

There are two approaches to assessing the impact of the Internet. Cyber-optimists claim that the Internet is one of the most important innovations of the last century (or ever!) and will revolutionize the U.S. and world economies. Cyber-optimists tend to live in places like Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas, near Route 128 around Boston and in the Dulles Access corridor near my home in Washington, D.C. By and large, cyber-optimists are already plugged into the Internet world, and they think that if you are not also then you are not “with it”.