New England's recent economic revitalization is largely attributed to the region's success in technological innovation and adaptation. This capacity to supplant older, maturing technologies with new technologies — a willingness to continually shed the old to make room for the new — has been a characteristic of New England since the early nineteenth century. At that time, as today, the critical factors in the process of technological development were the presence of investment capital, skilled labor, entrepreneurs, and, above all, preeminent colleges and universities that foster unconventional thinking and risk-taking. While the region's economy should continue to benefit from these fundamental factors, it is not without problems, and these merit additional research. The problems specified in this article all relate to maintaining the fundamentals for growth in the face of the adjustments that inevitably occur when a region undergoes periods of structural change. Nonetheless, two centuries of successful technological and manufacturing revitalization confirm the resiliency of New England's economy and underscore its ability to successfully undergo periods of industrial transition and transformation.



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