Exploring the Drivers of Innovation in the United States

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Arthur E. Hernandez


Alberto Rubio


Ashley S. Love


The goal of this quantitative study was to explore the relationships between various aspects of innovation in the United States to understand how innovation is driven in a state economy. The 2020 State New Economy Index from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and the accompanying paper written by Atkinson and Foote (2021) served as the foundation for this study. In this dissertation, Pearson correlations and multiple linear regressions were used to demonstrate the relationships between variables relevant to education and technology and the presence of growing companies in a state. The results revealed a relationship between education and the presence of specialized jobs that was stronger than a relationship between technology, education, and the presence of growing companies. This provides opportunities for universities and companies to work together, but not with fast growth as the goal for companies. Instead, universities can focus more on training their students to become future entrepreneurs by having programs that are designed to prepare them to open their own businesses. Additionally, people in companies that work with the universities can mentor these students as they begin their careers.

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