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Buzz: Face-to-Face Contact and the Urban Economy

Michael Storper and Anthony J. Venables ()

CEP Discussion Papers from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: This paper argues that existing models of urban concentrations are incomplete unless grounded in the most fundamental aspect of proximity; face-to-face contact. Face-to-face contact has four main features; it is an efficient communication technology; it can help solve incentive problems; it can facilitate socialization and learning; and it provides psychological motivation. We discuss each of these features in turn, and develop formal economic models of two of them. Face-to-face is particularly important in environments where information is imperfect, rapidly changing, and not easily codified, key features of many creative activities.

Keywords: Agglomeration; clustering; urban economics; face-to-face (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo and nep-ure
Date: 2003-12
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Journal Article: Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy (2004) Downloads
Working Paper: Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy (2003) Downloads
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