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Reinventing Boston: 1630--2003

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  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

The three largest cities in colonial America remain at the core of three of America's largest metropolitan areas today. This paper asks how Boston has been able to survive despite repeated periods of crisis and decline. Boston has reinvented itself three times: in the early 19 th century as the provider of seafaring human capital for a far flung maritime trading and fishing empire; in the late 19 th century as a factory town built on immigrant labor and Brahmin capital; and finally in the late 20 th century as a center of the information economy. In all three instances, human capital--admittedly of radically different forms--provided the secret to Boston's rebirth. The history of Boston suggests that a strong base of skilled workers is a more reliable source of long-run urban health. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jnlecg/lbh058
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 119-153

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:5:y:2005:i:2:p:119-153

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Cited by:
  1. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Charles van Marrewijk, 2014. "The Crisis and Regional Resilience in Europe: On the Importance of Urbanization and Specialization," CESifo Working Paper Series 4724, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Fabiano COMPAGNUCCI & Augusto CUSINATO, 2011. "Industrial Districts and the City: Relationships in the Knowledge Age. Evidence from the Italian Case," Working Papers 365, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  3. Ron Boschma & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Dieter Franz Kogler, 2013. "Relatedness and Technological Change in Cities: The rise and fall of technological knowledge in U.S. metropolitan areas from 1981 to 2010," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1316, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Sep 2013.
  4. Frank Neffke & Martin Henning, 2011. "Entrepreneurship Diversification, Skill Relatedness and Regional Economic Evolution," ERSA conference papers ersa10p937, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2013. "On the Notion of Regional Economic Resilience: Conceptualisation and Explanation," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1320, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Oct 2013.
  6. Ron Boschma, 2014. "Towards an evolutionary perspective on regional resilience," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1409, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Mar 2014.
  7. Yolanda K. Kodrzycki & Ana Patricia Muñoz, 2013. "Economic distress and resurgence in U.S. central cities: concepts, causes, and policy levers," Public Policy Discussion Paper 13-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  8. Bernard Fingleton & Harry Garretsen & Ron Martin, 2012. "Recessionary Shocks And Regional Employment: Evidence On The Resilience Of U.K. Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 109-133, 02.

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