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Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy

Michael Storper and Anthony Venables ()

Journal of Economic Geography, 2004, vol. 4, issue 4, 351-370

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. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2004
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Working Paper: Buzz: Face-to-Face Contact and the Urban Economy (2003) Downloads
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