North American Markets: Predicting Metropolitan Growth and Change
By Dr. Maurice Yeates and Willy Cheng
Which metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada are likely to be 'hot', 'warm' and 'cold' markets during the next four decades?
While this is a question of great importance to all those involved in the consumer service sector of the economy, such as retailers (independent and chain), developers, and asset managers, it is also of singular interest to public sector managers, particularly those involved with local and regional government.
It is not, however, a question that can be answered with any degree of surety, and to many such predictions may be as useful as those that could be obtained from any soothsayer.
Nevertheless, this research paper attempts to answer the question, and concludes with 'hot', 'warm', and 'cold' classifications of 273 metropolitan regions in the United States and 24 metropolitan regions in Canada.
What makes the answer to the question provided in this paper preferable to that which may be obtained from those involved with the paranormal is the theory and analysis that is utilized. The question is answered in the context of long wave thoery, using as much as 150 years of population and annualized growth data, for the entire set of 297 North American metropolitan regions.
The theory postulates that, since 1800, there have been four long waves of economic development in market/capitalist economies (each wave, or era, being of approximately 50 years duration), and implies that since the mide-1990s we have been in the early stages of a fifth - popularly referred to as the 'new economy'.
The paper utilizes cluster analysis to identify the eras during individual metropolitan regions have been more 'plugged in' than others, and utilizes knowledge gained from this historic analysis to predict future trends.