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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Research
Sep 22, 2019

Combine Water, Grain, Hops, Yeast and Get – Jobs

How do cities attract mobile firms? The answer, frequently, involves beer. Dr. Maryann Feldman has recently published an editorial describing how cities are increasingly selling themselves on quality of life metrics, talent, and trendy amenities that appeal to young professionals. Responding to Amazon’s HQ2 contest, cities across the country listed breweries among their city’s assets while wooing the technology giant. The article is based on a paper that three of her students wrote under her guidance, and the inspirations for which evolved out of a seminar Dr. Feldman taught on science and technology policy. The article, “Catching the whale: A comparison of place promotion strategies through the lens of Amazon HQ2”, was published in Geography Compass this summer by Scott Langford, Allison Lowe Reed, and Adams Nager. Using text analysis of city responses to the HQ2 contest, the paper argues that regions compete on much more than simply low costs of land and labor or business-friendly environment metrics, as traditional theory would assume. In the News and Observer, Dr. Feldman and her students explain how cities reliance on brews when advertising themselves is evidence of a shift in how cities aim to attract jobs and stay competitive.


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