Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2014/32: The Technological Resilience of U.S. Cities

Pierre-Alexandre Balland (), David Rigby () and Ron Boschma ()
Additional contact information
Pierre-Alexandre Balland: Department of Economic Geography Utrecht University and Center for Innovation and Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University
David Rigby: Departments of Geography and Statistics, University of California Los Angeles
Ron Boschma: Center for Innovation and Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University and Utrecht University, Urban and Regional research centre Utrecht (URU)

Abstract: We study the resilience of cities by analyzing their capacity to sustain the production of technology when facing adverse events. Patent applications for 366 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas, spanning the period 1975 to 2002, are used to analyze the vulnerability and response of cities to technological crises. Crises are defined as periods of sustained negative growth in patenting activity. We find that the frequency, intensity and duration of technological crises vary considerably across American cities. We examine how the technological knowledge bases of cities, their network openness and institutional environment condition resilience. Econometric analysis suggests that cities with knowledge bases that are diverse, flexible and proximate to technologies in which they do not currently possess comparative advantage tend to avoid technological crises, have limited downturns in patent production and recover faster from crisis events.

Keywords: Urban resilience; technological crisis; related knowledge structure; institutions; inter-city networks

JEL-codes: D83; L65; O33; R11

32 pages, December 25, 2014

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201432_Balland_et_all.pdf PDF-file 

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