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Urban Development and Knowledge-Intensive Business Services: Too Many Unanswered Questions?




It is often assumed that future urban employment will be increasingly dependent on the knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS). This underpins much of the current thinking about the development of the English "core cites." Their example is employed to examine the more general validity of such assumptions, in terms of five critical questions to which research offers only partial and indefinite answers. For any city, how far are these activities really "knowledge intensive"? What markets do they serve? Is their future growth certain? And even when this is the case, how can they make a long-term contribution to local urban economic success? Finally, how far do urban economic institutions and policies need to be adapted to foster knowledge-based activities such as KIBS? It seems that, despite the growth of measured KIBS employment, most of the core cities possess few truly knowledge-intensive KIBS, capable of serving national and international business markets, competitively adapting to future change, and adding to the competitiveness of the wider urban economy. Nationally such activities remain focused into the London region where, if anything, they have increased their concentration is recent years. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing.

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  • Peter Wood, 2006. "Urban Development and Knowledge-Intensive Business Services: Too Many Unanswered Questions?," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 335-361.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:37:y:2006:i:3:p:335-361

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    Cited by:

    1. Davide Castellani & Valentina Meliciani & Loredana Mirra, 2016. "The Determinants of Inward Foreign Direct Investment in Business Services across European Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 671-691, April.
    2. Riccardo Cappellin, 2011. "Growth, Consumption and Knowledge Cities," Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, University of Milano-Bicocca, issue 2 Global , pages 6-22.
    3. Lee, Neil & Nathan, Max, 2011. "Does cultural diversity help innovation in cities: evidence from London firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33579, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Sébastien Breau & Dieter F. Kogler & Kenyon C. Bolton, 2014. "On the Relationship between Innovation and Wage Inequality: New Evidence from Canadian Cities," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(4), pages 351-373, October.
    5. Peter Wood & Dariusz Wójcik, 2010. "A Dominant Node of Service Innovation: London’s Financial, Professional and Consultancy Services," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Innovation and Services, chapter 25 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Thomas Brenner & Marco Capasso & Matthias Duschl & Koen Frenken & Tania Treibich, 2015. "Causal Relations between Knowledge-Intensive Business Services and Regional Employment Growth," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2015-04, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    7. Malgorzata Zieba, 2013. "Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (Kibs) And Their Role In The Knowledge-Based Economy," GUT FME Working Paper Series A 7, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology.
    8. Max Nathan & Neil Lee, 2013. "Cultural Diversity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Firm-level Evidence from London," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 89(4), pages 367-394, October.

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