Mercedes Delgado


Mercedes Delgado


Mercedes Delgado is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Research Director and Research Scientist of the MIT Innovation Initiative Lab for Innovation Science and Policy. Delgado also serves as Senior Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School.

Delgado’s research focuses on the relationship between the regional business environment and the performance of firms, regions, and countries. She examines the role of regional clusters—geographic concentrations of related industries, firms, and supporting institutions —in job creation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and resilience. Delgado has developed new methods for defining and mapping clusters, providing tools to help firms, practitioners, and policymakers create regional strategies. More broadly, she studies the determinants of national and regional competitiveness, seeking to understand how different components of the microeconomic and macroeconomic environment contribute to prosperity. In recent work she explores the interaction between the spatial organization of firms, their location choices through the value chain, and firm performance. She is also interested in how to best connect businesses in inner cities—economically distressed areas within a city— to their surrounding cities in order to facilitate inclusive prosperity.

Delgado’s work has been published in top economic, policy, and strategy journals. She has received a number of prestigious fellowships and research grants, and recently served as a lead researcher on the US Cluster Mapping Project: Mapping a Nation of Regional Clusters.

Delgado earned a PhD in Business Economics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard Business School and the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Innovation Policy and the Economy Group.


"Firms in Context: Internal and External Drivers of Success."

Delgado, Mercedes. In The New Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.

"Spatial Organization of Firms and Location Choices through the Value Chain."

Alcácer, Juan, and Mercedes Delgado. Management Science Vol. 62, No. 11 (2016): 3213-3324.

"Clusters and Regional Performance: Implications for Inner Cities."

Delgado, Mercedes, and Kimberly Zeuli. Economic Development Quarterly Vol. 30, No. 2 (2016): 117-136.

"Defining Clusters of Related Industries."

Delgado, Mercedes, Michael E. Porter, and Scott Stern. Journal of Economic Geography Vol. 16, No. 1 (2016): 1-38.

"Clusters, Convergence, and Economic Performance."

Delgado, Mercedes, Michael E. Porter, and Scott Stern. Research Policy Vol. 43, No. 10 (2014): 1785-1799.

"Categorization of Traded and Local Industries in the U.S. Economy."

Mercedes Delgado, Richard Bryden, and Sam Zyontz.

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New research points to the growing imp. of STEM-intensive services

A new working paper from MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Mercedes Delgado and HBS senior fellow Karen G. Mills separates high-wage and STEM-intensive supply chain services from Main Street services.

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