RelativeResourceManager1 - THE WORLD IN NUMBERS T h e W o r...

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THE WORLD IN NUMBERS The World Is Spiky Globalization has changed the economic playing field, but hasn't leveled it I POPULATION Urban areas house half uf all the worlds people, and continue to grow in both rich and poor countries. T lie world, according to the title of the New York Times co\uTi\- nist Thomas Friedman's book., is flat. Thanks to advances in technology, the global playing Held has been leveled, tbe prizes are there for the taking, and everyone's a player—no matter where on the surface of the earth he or she may reside. "In a flat world," Friedman writes, "you can innovate without hav- ing to emigrate." Friedman is not alone in this belief: for the better part of the past century economists have been writing about the leveling effects of technology. P'rom the invention of the telephone, the automobile, and the airplane to the rise of the personal computer and the Internet, technological progress has steadily eroded the economic impor- tance of geographic place—or so the argument goes. But in partnership with colleagues at George Mason University and the geographer Tim Gulden, of the Center for International and Security Stud- ies, at the University of Maryland, I've begun to chart a very different eco- nomic topography. By almost any measure the international economic landscape is not at al! flat. On the con- trary, our world is amazingly "'spiky." In terms of both sheer economic horse- power and cutting-edge innovation. PEAKS, HILLS, AND VALLEYS When looked at through the lens of economic production, many cities with large populations are diminished and some nearly vonish. Three sorts of places make up the modern economic landscape. First are the cities that generate innovations. These are the tallest peaks; they have the capacity to attract global talent and create new products and industries. They are few in number, and difficult to topple. Second are the economic "hills"—places that monufacture the world's established goods, take its calls, ond support its innovation engines. These hills can rise and fall quickly; they are prosperous but insecure. Some, like Dublin and Seoul, are growing into innovative, wealthy peaks; others are declining, eroded by high labor costs and a lack of enduring com- petitive advantage. Finally there are the vast valleys—places with little connection to the global economy and few immediate prospects. surprisingly few regions truly mat- ter in today's global economy. What's more, the tallest peaks—the cities and regions that drive the world econ- omy—are growing ever higher., while the valleys mostly languish. T he most obvious challenge to the flat-world hypothesis is the explosive growth of cities worldwide. More and more people are cluster-
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course MKTG 4476 taught by Professor Hopetorkornoo during the Spring '12 term at Kennesaw.

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RelativeResourceManager1 - THE WORLD IN NUMBERS T h e W o r...

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