The Geography of New Technologies

Delivering sustainable economic growth
Posted Aug 22, 2020 | Institute for New Economic Thinking, Nicholas Bloom, Tarek Alexander Hassan et al

Rising inequality focuses attention on the benefits of new technologies, and on whether these accrue primarily to inventors, early investors, and highly skilled users, or to society more widely though employment growth. In this article for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Nicholas BloomTarek Alexander Hassan et al document the rollout of 20 new technologies across firms and labor markets in the U.S. Four stylised facts emerge.  As technologies develop, the number of new positions related to them grows, the average education requirements and wage levels of the positions drop, and their employment impact diffuses geographically. Despite this diffusion, the initial hubs retain a disproportionate share of employment in each technology, particularly in high-skill jobs. Technology hubs, not surprisingly are more likely to arise in areas with universities and highly-skilled labour pools.


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