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Knowledge in cities


  • Todd M. Gabe
  • Jaison R. Abel
  • Adrienne Ross
  • Kevin Stolarick


This study identifies clusters of U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas with similar knowledge traits. These groups—ranging from Making Regions, characterized by knowledge about manufacturing, to Thinking Regions, noted for knowledge about the arts, humanities, information technology, and commerce—can be used by analysts and policymakers for the purposes of regional benchmarking or comparing the types of programs and infrastructure available to support closely related economic activities. In addition these knowledge-based clusters help explain the types of regions that have levels of economic development that exceed, or fall short of, other places with similar amounts of college attainment. Regression results show that Engineering, Enterprising, and Building Regions are associated with higher levels of productivity and earnings per capita, while Teaching, Understanding, Working, and Comforting Regions have lower levels of economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd M. Gabe & Jaison R. Abel & Adrienne Ross & Kevin Stolarick, 2010. "Knowledge in cities," Staff Reports 470, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:470

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    Other versions of this item:

    • Todd Gabe & Jaison Abel & Adrienne Ross & Kevin Stolarick, 2012. "Knowledge in Cities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(6), pages 1179-1200, May.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Goldin, Claudia & Katz, Lawrence F, 1996. "Technology, Skill, and the Wage Structure: Insights from the Past," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 252-257, May.
    2. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
    3. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
    4. Todd M. Gabe, 2009. "Knowledge And Earnings," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 439-457.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The rise of the skilled city," Working Papers 04-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    6. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander & Kevin Stolarick, 2008. "Inside the black box of regional development: human capital, the creative class and tolerance," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(5), pages 615-649, September.
    7. Jaison Abel & Todd Gabe, 2011. "Human Capital and Economic Activity in Urban America," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(8), pages 1079-1090.
    8. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
    9. Allen J. Scott, 2009. "Human capital resources and requirements across the metropolitan hierarchy of the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 207-226, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Niusha Esmaeilpoorarabi & Tan Yigitcanlar & Mirko Guaralda, 2016. "Place quality and urban competitiveness symbiosis? A position paper," International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1), pages 4-21.

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    Regional economics ; Productivity ; Manufacturing industries ; Education - Economic aspects ; Professional employees;

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