Elise Brezis

Dept. of Economics
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan

E-Mail: brezie@mail.biu.ac.il
Institutional Affiliation: Bar-Ilan University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 1993Technology and the Life Cycle of Cities
with Paul Krugman: w4561
During times of major technological change leading cities are often overtaken by upstart metropolitan areas. Such upheavals may be explained if the advantage of established urban centers rests on localized learning-by-doing. When a new technology for which this accumulated experience is irrelevant is introduced, older centers prefer to stay with a technology in which they are more efficient. New centers, however, turn to the new technology, and are competitive despite the raw state of that technology because of their lower land rents and wages. Over time, as the new technology matures, the established cities are overtaken.

Published: Journal of Economic Growth, Vol. 2, no. 4 (December 1997), pp. 369-383. citation courtesy of

October 1991Leapfrogging: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership
with Paul Krugman, Daniel Tsiddon: w3886
Much recent work has suggested that endogenous technological change tends to reinforce the position of the leading nations. Yet from time to time this leadership role shifts. We suggest a mechanism that explains this pattern of -leapfrogging- as a response to occasional major changes in technology. When such a change occurs, leading nations may have no incentive to adopt the new ideas; given their extensive experience with older technologies, the new ideas do not initially seem to be an improvement. Lagging nations, however, have less experience; the new techniques offer them an opportunity to use their lower wages, to break into the market. If the new techniques eventually prove to be more productive than the old, there is a reversal of leadership.

Published: American Economic Review, Vol. 83 (1993).

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