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Auckland's Knowledge Economy: Australasian and European Comparisons




This paper examines one key theme of modern spatial economics relating to city development: Do the major cities within and across countries increasingly attract a disproportionate share of knowledge intensive economic activities? We describe trends in shares of knowledge intensive economic activities within five major New Zealand and five major Australian cities, and interpret these trends in light of modern economic geography theories. The paper is mainly descriptive, filling an information gap in relation to trends in knowledge intensity across New Zealand and Australian cities. We also compare developments in Auckland’s industry knowledge intensity with those in eight European comparator cities. Since 1991, Auckland’s share of employment within knowledge intensive sectors has increased at a faster pace than all four comparator New Zealand cities and all five Australian comparator cities. These trends indicate that intra-country agglomeration forces have more than offset the inter-country agglomeration forces for Auckland. However the other four New Zealand cities have experienced lower growth in their knowledge intensive sector shares than the five Australian cities, a result that is consistent with the existence of agglomeration forces acting across Australasia.

Suggested Citation

  • Grimes, Arthur & Le Vaillant, Jason & McCann, Philip, 2011. "Auckland's Knowledge Economy: Australasian and European Comparisons," Occasional Papers 11/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:nzmedo:2011_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mellander, Charlotta, 2008. "Occupational Distribution within Swedish Industries - an identification and market relation analysis," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 150, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    2. Tim Hazledine, 2001. "Measuring the New Zealand transaction sector, 1956-98, with an Australian comparison," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 77-100.
    3. Gilles Duranton & Michael Storper, 2008. "Rising trade costs? Agglomeration and trade with endogenous transaction costs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 292-319, February.
    4. Edward E. Leamer, 2007. "A Flat World, a Level Playing Field, a Small World After All, or None of the Above? A Review of Thomas L Friedman's The World is Flat," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 83-126, March.
    5. Philip McCann, 2007. "Sketching Out a Model of Innovation, Face-to-face Interaction and Economic Geography," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 117-134.
    6. Philip McCann, 2009. "Economic geography, globalisation and New Zealand's productivity paradox," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 279-314.
    7. Thomas Klier & James Rubenstein, 2008. "Who Really Made Your Car? Restructuring and Geographic change in the Auto Industry," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wrmyc, November.
    8. Geoff Lewis & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Regional economic performance in New Zealand: How does Auckland compare?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 29-68.
    9. Ron Crawford & Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes & Nick Bonner, 2007. "National R&D and Patenting: Is New Zealand an Outlier?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 69-90.
    10. Beckstead, Desmond & Vinodrai, Tara, 2003. "Dimensions of Occupational Changes in Canada's Knowledge Economy, 1971-1996," The Canadian Economy in Transition 2003004e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division.
    11. Arthur Grimes, 2004. "New Zealand: A Typical Australasian Ecomony?," Working Papers 04_11, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
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    More about this item


    Agglomeration; knowledge intensity; Auckland;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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