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Who we are

The Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University is an internationally recognized center for the advancement of regional science – an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of geography, economics, and planning. Regional scientists use quantitative methods and mathematical models to study economic and social phenomena at regional levels.

The RRI was founded in 1965 by Professor William H. Miernyk whose pioneering research on input-output modeling rapidly brought the RRI international prominence in regional economics and the new field of regional science. For more than five decades, the RRI has conducted and promoted interdisciplinary research on social and economic issues that are best addressed at the regional level and that advances regional development policy that is matched to the regional context. 

Today, the RRI continues to evolve, integrating new econometric methods, and methods from spatial analysis and data science, while continuing to form multidisciplinary partnerships that enable the RRI to remain at the cusp of cutting-edge research for regional science and regional labor economics. We are especially interested in research that helps to foster economic growth and to support workforce and community development. While our research interests span the globe, most of our research focuses on predominantly rural regions in the U.S. with an emphasis on West Virginia and our own Appalachian region.

The RRI has a core of researchers within the Institute, including faculty, staff, and graduate students; Faculty Research Associates across campus; and an extended network of scholars throughout the United States and abroad.

We invite you to browse our site and to contact us to explore the possibilities of becoming a member of our regional research community.