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Performance of urban information technology centers: the boom, the bust, and the future

  • Mary C. Daly
  • Robert G. Valletta

After being emblematic of the U.S. economic surge in the late 1990s, urban areas that specialize in information technology (IT) products have more recently been struggling with the aftermath of the IT spending bust. To what degree can they bounce back and reemerge as leaders of innovative activity and production in the IT sector? We examine the characteristics of some of the nation’s leading IT centers, linking these characteristics to a discussion of economic research concerning the sources of growth in urban industrial centers. Although each of these IT centers was hit hard by the IT bust beginning in 2000, the full impact varies depending on the size, density, and composition of the local IT sector. Some IT centers are better positioned than others to resume a rapid growth path as the IT sector recovers, depending on factors such as reliance on manufacturing versus services, diversity of the product base, innovative capacity, and ability to respond to changing conditions such as the recent rise in IT imports and overseas production.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 1-18

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:2004:p:1-18
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  1. Beardsell, Mark & Henderson, Vernon, 1999. "Spatial evolution of the computer industry in the USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 431-456, February.
  2. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," NBER Working Papers 4840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Nursery cities: urban diversity, process innovation and the life-cycle of products," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20204, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  5. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1862, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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