Technological Adaptation, Cities, and New Work

45 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2009 Last revised: 21 Nov 2019

See all articles by Jeffrey Lin

Jeffrey Lin

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Date Written: July 28, 2009


Where does adaptation to innovation take place? The author presents evidence on the role of agglomeration economies in the application of new knowledge to production. All else equal, workers are more likely to be observed in new work in locations that are initially dense in both college graduates and industry variety. This pattern is consistent with economies of density from the geographic concentration of factors and markets related to technological adaptation. A main contribution is to use a new measure, based on revisions to occupation classifications, to closely characterize cross-sectional differences across U.S. cities in adaptation to technological change. Worker-level results also provide new evidence on the skill bias of recent innovations.

Keywords: innovation, agglomeration economies, occupations, human capital, industrial diversity

JEL Classification: J21, J24, O33, R12, R23

Suggested Citation

Lin, Jeffrey, Technological Adaptation, Cities, and New Work (July 28, 2009). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 09-17, Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey Lin (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

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