On the Economic Geography of the Weightless Economy : An Econometric Analysis of the Location Choices of Internet Firms in Germany
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Rapid technological progress in the area of ICT means that we are living in a world that can be increasingly based as weightless . Whereas firms used to base production on the input of physical things, today it is increasingly based on knowledge, which in itself has no physical form. How this process will effect the location of firms and industries is as yet not well understood. Theoretical literature on the subject is not conclusive and, thus far, little empirical literature exists. In order to throw more light on the subject, this study from a dissertation presented in 2004 econometrically analyzes the location decisions of the new Internet firms in Germany from 1998-2001 and compares them to those of other start-ups. The econometric methods used include both discrete choice as well as spatial econometric methods, allowing researchers to take into account possible spatial dependencies in the data. The results show that the location choice is still important and that Internet firms are highly agglomerated, largely due to locally limited knowledge spillovers. Many of the factors influencing location decisions differ from those of non-weightless firms; with soft location factors playing a greater role.



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