This essay reviews the recent book by Michael Storper et al The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles. The book uses the case studies of San Francisco and Los Angeles to reflect on how economic growth in many cities has diverged over time and seeks to explain why this may be. The same can be seen in a UK context, so understanding what takes place and why in different urban economic contexts has wide relevance and importance, particularly as it provokes questions about theory and method in urban and regional research.
This working paper explores how successful Storper’s book is in explaining the phenomena of divergent urban growth, and what further questions it raises. The review was originally published in Regional Studies, vol. 50, no. 9, pp. 1623-1627.