Major Papers


specialization, diversification, Windsor-Essex, economy, automotive


There is a longstanding debate between economic specialization, focussing on the production of a limited set of goods, and economic diversification, producing a wide variation of goods and services. While economic diversity boasts a stable and resilient economy, specialization claims to lead to rapid growth. This study explores both schools of thought, examining the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches, and applies them to Windsor-Essex as a case study on the city’s reliance on the automotive industry. This paper explores the rise of the automotive industry from the 1970s, examines unemployment rates following economic downturns, analyzes the economic state of the city, and hypothesizes on the future of the industry as recent investments in Electric Vehicle (EV) production have been made. This paper determines that Windsor’s specialization in the manufacturing industry has been harmful to the city over the past two decades through its volatility and vulnerability following economic shocks; however, the city is being presented with a unique opportunity to pivot to sustainable transportation, an emerging and promising market, if it properly capitalizes on current and future funding.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Lydia Miljan

Program Reader

Dr. Elena Maltseva

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Internship Paper

Convocation Year