Wednesday, August 10, 2005


ARE BIG CITIES REALLY WHERE IT'S AT? Michael Orlando, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Michael Verba, a research associate at the bank recently published a report that examined patent data, and found that entrepreneurial activity in cutting-edge technology was higher in bigger cities than in smaller locales.

Why the difference? Orlando and Verba speculate that more populous areas have more resources for entrepreneurs.

Take talent. Metros with populations of between 1 million and 4 million have twice as many engineers and scientists per capita as do metros of fewer than 1 million. Larger cities also offer more access to equipment and even to places like Starbucks for a chance meeting. That's particularly important for those in nascent fields who often require ample help to figure out their next step.

It's not all bad news for less-crowded states or cities. More-established technology fields still offer the chance to innovate without the need for such infrastructure.

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