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The Lowell high-tech success story: what went wrong?

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  • Ross J. Gittell
  • Patricia M. Flynn

Abstract

Ten years ago Lowell, Massachusetts was a high-tech success story. After several decades of stagnation, the Lowell area had emerged as a thriving center for high-technology employment. The Lowell story was viewed as a "model for reindustrialization" for older cities throughout the world. In recent years Lowell has once again become the focus of international attention, this time as an example of a failed economic development strategy. Widespread layoffs and plant closings within its computer industry, particularly the collapse of Wang Laboratories, have dealt a crushing blow to the local economy. This article analyzes the boom and bust periods the Lowell economy experienced with high-technology employment, identifying what went wrong and what might have been done to mitigate the impacts of economic and industrial change.

Suggested Citation

  • Ross J. Gittell & Patricia M. Flynn, 1995. "The Lowell high-tech success story: what went wrong?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 57-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbne:y:1995:i:mar:p:57-70
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1984. "The Lucas Critique and the Volcker Deflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 211-215, May.
    3. George L. Perry, 1970. "Changing Labor Markets and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 411-448.
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    Keywords

    High technology industries ; New England;

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