Technology and the Life Cycle of Cities

Elise S. Brezis, Paul R. Krugman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


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 is introduced, for which this accumulated experience is irrelevant, 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-383
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Economic Growth
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • Geographical concentration
  • Technological changes
  • Urban system


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