Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


The Emergence of the Knowledge Based Economy (KBE): New York, London and Sydney's Race to the Top


School of Public, NonProfit & Health Administration


College of Community and Public Service

Date Range



The United States experience with the knowledge based economy (KBE) is contrasted with the roots and current practices of the British and Australian approaches. The investigation explores the complex interplay of federal, state and local legislation and action and the lexicon of economic development oriented tools to promote knowledge based economic development in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The research identifies the convergence and divergence of KBE policies in New York City, London and Sydney to better understand the theoretical underpinnings and future activities. Successful knowledge based economic development strategies are attributed to the commingling of policies - sound urban planning, coordinated state and local leadership and an overall commitment to sustainable development. After more than a half century of dominance in scientific discovery and innovation, in recent years a concern exists about the US losing its competitive edge in the knowledge economy. The United States has steadily slipped on the KAM Knowledge Economy Index since 1995. In the UK, there has been a big bet on KBE as much of the manufacturing sector has been rapidly dismantled. London s preeminence as a leader in knowledge intensive business development at more than 30% of the nation creates an urban primacy in KBE much more than New York. The paper explicates the most important components, strengths and shortcomings of KBE approaches in the United States, England and Australia through a comparative framework. Explicit comparisons are made between KBE as it relates to the premier world cities of New York, London and Sydney.

Conference Name

42nd Annual Urban Affairs Association Annual Conference

Conference Location

Pittsburgh, PA

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