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Economic Geography


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Paul Krugman has an interesting blog entry in the New York Times about the death of many of our smaller cities.   As he notes, it can often be random, so how do we increase the probability that opportunities are more likely to roll our way?

After the Civil War, it was generally assumed that Sanford would become Cental Florida's primary city instead of Orlando. As we know, that's not the way things worked out. In later posts, it might be fun to consider what makes cities win the success lottery. Is it luck? Education? Resources? 

All thoughts are encouraged.


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Geography (including human geography and transport geography) and luck, in my opinion, are the most decisive factors. Geography, in this case, means the most general sense of the word.  Orlando, for instance, has an advantage in:

  • a significant immigrant population (especially recently)
  • its position on the path between South Florida and the rest of the continent by land
  • a large and growing population of STEM-educated people due in part to the local defense and entertainment industry
  • a large university (UCF) with a large amount of highly ranked engineering and computer science students
  • a close proximity to the most likely location of a future spaceport (Kennedy Space Center)
  • and more
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