Mack Lab

The Mack lab is dedicated to the use of a range of quantitative methods to understand problems of a economic geographic nature with a focus on four areas: business location, telecommunications availability, entrepreneurship and urban water systems. Presently the lab is working on two funded research projects through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Urban Water Innovation Network

Funded by: the National Science Foundation Grant # 144758 and Supplement to 144758

This project evaluates the economic impacts of water price increases on household income, regional income, and regional employment. This is important to consider given pressures on urban water systems such as aging infrastructure, growing populations, and climate change. These pressures mean that water costs will rise and place economic strains on businesses and households. From the business side, higher water costs could lead to increases in prices of inputs and salaries, and a lower willingness (and ability to pay) for business outputs by households. This strain on business outputs means that businesses may have to hire fewer workers. This reduction in the number of persons employed, increases the incidence of unemployment in households and reduces household income. Due to this reduction in household income, people will purchase fewer goods and services from businesses, which further reduces firm profits. In other words, there is a vicious cycle between many elements of water: water supply, water demand, water prices, business income, and household income. Given this range of issues, the outcomes for this project seeks to provide information and interact with a diverse range of groups including households, stakeholders, and grassroots organizations about human-based pressures on urban water systems.

For more on U-WIN, please visit:

A Comparative Analysis of Firm Dynamics in Rustbelt and Sunbelt Entrepreneurial Ecosytems

Funded by: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Grant #20150940

This project will construct firm genealogies for family trees to analyze spinoff dynamics across a diverse set of Sunbelt and Rustbelt metropolitan areas. The objectives of the proposed research are twofold: to design metrics of firm spinoff dynamics derived from firm genealogies and use these metrics in a comparative manner to analyze differences in firm dynamics across entrepreneurial ecosystems from an evolutionary perspective.