infrastructure still matters

Lost amid all the talk over the 'new economy' is talk about some basic infrastructure that is still important. Note today's story by Lawrence Walsh in the PG today on Duquesne Light's planned investment to upgrade electriciy service in the region. Think this is just an 'old' economy concern? Consider that Google has placed its massive new data core in North-Central Oregon at least in part becasue of inexpensive and reliable electricity. I have probably said this before, but a lot of the industrial base in the region is still an energy intensive sector. Not just price but reliability is key, try shutting down a chemical process unexpectedly and what you get is just not good.


4 Responses to "infrastructure still matters"

Mark Stroup said... 6/19/2006 9:27 AM


You raise a crucial point in defining a key variable affecting regional growth.

I also like the nifty graphic.

globalburgh said... 6/19/2006 12:56 PM

To what extent do the infrastructure needs dictate business location?

Google can fill its energy needs in a region different from where they find their employee talent.

I think one feature of the "new economy" is that infrastructure of place other than where you live matters more and more.

The scale at which we think about infrastructure has definitely changed.

jet said... 6/20/2006 1:05 PM

I recently moved here from the west coast and was surprised to discover that Duquesne doesn't offer any sort of rebates for installing energy-efficient appliances.

C. Briem said... 6/20/2006 1:41 PM

that factors of production are ever more mobile may be the defining statement of regional economics for the last 50 years, so I could not agree more. That being said, declining influence of infrastructure is a far cry from saying its importance is gone. Consider this Google 'back office'. It's not just google but Yahoo and MS that are locating these sites in this one area. A fair number of high tech jobs just in these projects. It's a new cluster unto itself in a real sense.

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