George Erickcek

Senior Regional Analyst with The Upjohn Institute

While maintaining a strong research focus on west Michigan, Erickcek has expanded his research agenda to regional economic issues across the state and the nation. Recently, he led a research effort to develop a project evaluation model for the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Currently, he is leading another research team in evaluating EDA regional development districts and their comprehensive planning documents. He has coauthored papers on a variety of national regional issues, including the impact of education and medical institutions on their regions and the challenges facing auto-dependent communities. With Randall Eberts and Jack Kleinhenz, he prepared a highly-regarded Economic Dashboard for the greater Cleveland region. Finally he has prepared fiscal impact statements for proposed college scholarship programs in Davenport, Iowa; La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Toledo, Ohio.

Closer to home, Erickcek has conducted numerous economic impact studies in west Michigan and prepares annual employment forecasts for each of the region’s six metropolitan areas. Recently, he led a research team in the preparation of an occupational forecast for the greater Grand Rapids region. Currently, he is working on a study that will attempt to estimate the importance of industrial design in economic development.

Since 1992, he has directed the production of Business Outlook for West Michigan and in 2001 he become a co-editor of Economic Development Quarterly, a national journal that explores economic development issues.

He received an MA in economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981 and a BS from the University of Oregon in 1977. Prior to joining the Institute in 1987, he was the economic analyst for the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission, (Grand Rapids, Michigan), Employment Research Associates (Lansing, Michigan) and General Marketing Corporation (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

His publications include:

  • Rebuilding Auto-Impacted Metro Economies through Stronger Regional Partnerships and Workforce Training Programs (with Randall W. Eberts), to be published by the Brookings Institution, 2010.
  • The Employment and Fiscal Effects of Michigan’s MEGA Tax Credit Program Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 10-164 (with Timothy Bartik), 2010.
  • "Eds and Meds" and Metropolitan Economic Development”
    In Urban and Regional Policy and its Effects, Vol 1, Margery Austin Turner, Howard Wial, and Harold Wolman, editors. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press (with Timothy J. Bartik), 2008, pp. 21-59.
  • Comprehensive Study of Regionalism: Tools for Comparison and Evaluation An initiative supported by the Economic Development Association. (with Jason Preuss, Brad R. Watts, Kevin O’Brien, Claudette Robey, Daila Shimek, Jim Robey and Jacob Duritsky), 2008.
  • Dashboard Indicators for the Northeast Ohio Economy: Prepared for the Fund for Our Economic Future, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank Working Paper 06/05 (with Randall W. Eberts and Jack Kleinhenz) 2006.
  • Small Cities Blues: Looking for Growth Factors in Small and Medium-Sized Cities, Economic Development Quarterly 20( 3): 232-258, 2006 (with Hannah McKinney)