PRIE conducts research of planning and public policy interest on the intersection between industries and occupations, on one hand, and regions, cities and communities, on the other. Each project involves a team of faculty and students and disseminates results through scholarly publications, the popular press, and person-to-person outreach to parties directly concerned.
PRIE's Arts Economy Initiative conducts major studies on artists and cultural industries, researching the intersection between cultural and urban/regional development policy. Other current projects include The Distinctive City, a book stressing labor and human capital, combining occupational with industrial analysis, and developing guidelines for building distinctive city and regional development portfolios.
Past projects include Reining in the Competition for Capital, a critical look at tax incentives as economic development policy; many books and studies of the defense industry and its impacts on local, national, and international levels; Second Tier Cities, a comparative analysis of industrial districts in fast-growing cities in the US, Japan, Brazil, and South Korea; and Trading Industries, Trading Regions, a study of trade-related development across US regions and cities.