Lecturer: Micheal Storper, Professor Regional and International Development, UCLA Professor of Economic Geography, The London School of Economics
Southern California and the Bay Area underwent a process of economic convergence in the first two thirds of the 20th century. Southern California caught up to the Bay Area in terms of real regional per capita income, while adding many more people than its northern neighbor. But with the advent of the New Economy, the Bay Area surged ahead of Southern California, generating a one-third gap in their per capita income levels by the early 21st century. This difference is descriptively due to the flourishing of the tech economy in the Bay Area. But the outcome was not foregone. Southern California had more and better technological resources than the Bay Area in the 1970s, and even well into the 1980s in certain respects. The Bay Area and Southern California, moreover, are representative of a wider phenomenon, a new Great Divergence among metropolitan regions within and between countries. Analyzing this case of just two regions, but in great detail, gives us keys about the causal process that underlie divergent economic development of metropolitan regions.
Michael Storper's research and teaching interests cover a variety of closely related topics related to economic geography and development. Specifically, he examines the forces that affect the ways an economy organizes itself in geographical space. His work spans the areas of globalization, technology, city-regions, and economic development. The latest of his many books is Keys to the City, which outlines his current five-year research project on the divergent economic development of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area economies.
Among many honors, he was elected to the British Academy in 2012, and also received the Regional Studies Association's award for overall achievement, the Sir Peter Hall Award, in the House of Commons in 2012.
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Global and Metropolitan Studies.