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Not So Footloose After All: Locational Behavior Of Information Technology Establishments In The United States, 1989-1998

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  • Simon CONDLIFFE

    (College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy, University of Delaware)

  • William R. LATHAM

    () (Department of Economics & School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, University of)

Abstract

Among the benefits that technology can provide is greater connectivity among economic agents. Commerce now occurs across great geographic distances at nominal transaction costs. Technology, therefore, seems to have the potential to unshackle economic agents from their suppliers and customers, enabling them to seek out alternative locations without being at a comparative disadvantage to other businesses. In this paper we address the following question, "Is there convincing evidence to support the thesis that, for firms in the information technology industry, distance is dead and they truly are footloose in choosing their locations?" Using a data set that only recently became available and which contains establishment births by county, this paper presents evidence that firms in the information technology industry respond positively to the economies found in metropolitan areas. This implies that the characteristics of such areas relative to those of non-metropolitan areas (population size, educational attainment of the labor force, and various kinds of agglomeration economies) make them attractive locations for information technology establishments. Therefore we find that, at least for the information technology industry, distance is not dead.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon CONDLIFFE & William R. LATHAM, 2006. "Not So Footloose After All: Locational Behavior Of Information Technology Establishments In The United States, 1989-1998," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 24, pages 45-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:tou:journl:v:24:y:2006:p:45-60
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bartik, Timothy J, 1985. "Business Location Decisions in the United States: Estimates of the Effects of Unionization, Taxes, and Other Characteristics of States," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(1), pages 14-22, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Condliffe & William Latham & Christian Le Bas & Frédéric Miribel, 2008. "Agglomeration Economies within IT-Producing and IT-Consuming Industries in U.S. Regions," Working Papers 08-24, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    INDUSTRIAL LOCATION; ESTABLISHMENTS BIRTHS; INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY; AGGLOMERATION ECONOMIES; DISTANCE; FOOTLOOSE;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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