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UBC Theses and Dissertations

High technology locational factors : an analysis of major cities in Canada Short, Joel Nelson


High technology industries have caught the attention of many local economic development agencies, and many of these agencies have attempted to attract high technology industries to their areas. There is a lack of information, however, on the factors that influence the location of high technology. This study attempts to determine the location factors that are important for high technology industries in Canada. Because no universally accepted definition of high technology exists, previous definitions of high technology are examined, and a suitable definition is developed for Canada. A review of existing literature on the locational factors for high technology industry is conducted, and based on this review, a set of locational factors to be examined for Canada is established. Data on the location of high technology in Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) are examined, as well as the spatial incidence of the potential locational factors across the 24 Canadian CMAs. Regression analysis is used to determine the strengths of relationships between high technology industry and locational factors. The results of this study are compared to the results of similar studies conducted in the U.S. and Australia. This study finds that few of the potential locational factors examined have a high correlation with the location of high technology industries. Percentage of labour force in scientific, engineering and mathematical occupations; telephones per capita; income levels; dwelling prices; airport size; university enrolment; and percentage of labour force with university degrees are significant factors; however it is not clear if differences in these variables influence the location of high technology, or if the presence of high technology industries generate differences in these variables. A comparison of the results of this study with the results of similar studies conducted in the U.S. and Australia reveals several similarities and a few differences.

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