It's well-known that high-tech industries are concentrated and clustered in areas like Silicon Valley, Greater Boston, Seattle, Austin, and North Carolina's Research Triangle. Paul Krugman won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the relationships between urbanization, trade, and economies of scale. And Michael Porter has shown how and why innovative firms cluster.
The graph below, compiled by Scott Pennington of the Martin Prosperity Institute,
shows patent trends from 1976 to 2007 for the top 10 U.S. regions. The
graph identifies a clear shift in the geography of patenting.
of innovation has fallen off considerably in older industrial regions
like Pittsburgh and Detroit. It has also fallen off in Sunbelt regions
like Dallas with a large presence in computers and communications and
Houston with its strong concentration of resource and energy
On the other hand, innovation has increased substantially
in high-tech regions like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Seattle
and also in Los Angeles.