Innovation Corridors: How to spread economic development beyond ‘superstar metros’

  • Date: 10/27/2020

Innovation is a big driver of economic development, creating high-wage jobs and igniting high-growth industries. But the benefits of this kind of economic growth tend to be highly concentrated in select cities and within certain kinds of job types. This pattern of divergence accelerated in the U.S. after the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession where top-performing metro areas led rapid high-tech job and income growth and other cities and towns fell into decline.

These resulting trends are defined by terms such as “winner take all,” “superstar metro areas,” or “knowledge-based affluence.” Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis have deeply exposed this divide: knowledge workers with strong digital infrastructure and internet access are working safely from their homes, while workers in many industries risk job loss or illness.

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