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Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy

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  • Michael Storper
  • Anthony J. Venables

Abstract

This paper argues that existing models of urban concentrations are incomplete unless grounded in the most fundamental aspect of proximity; face-to-face contact. Face-to-face contact has four main features; it is an efficient communication technology; it can help solve incentive problems; it can facilitate socialization and learning; and it provides psychological motivation. We discuss each of these features in turn, and develop formal economic models of two of them. Face-to-face is particularly important in environments where information is imperfect, rapidly changing, and not easily codified, key features of many creative activities.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20008/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 20008.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20008

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Keywords: Agglomeration; clustering; urban economics; face-to-face;

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References

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  1. Sukkoo Kim, 2002. "The Reconstruction of the American Urban Landscape in the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 8857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
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