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Reinventing Boston: 1640-2003

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
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    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 19th century as the provider of seafaring human capital for a far flung maritime trading and fishing empire, in the late 19th century as a factory town built on immigrant labor and Brahmin capital, and finally in the late 20th 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.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 2017.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2017

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    Cited by:
    1. Kerstin Press, 2006. "Divide to conquer? The Silicon Valley - Boston 128 case revisited," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0610, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Dec 2006.

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