Political Economy of the Palm Beach County Biotechnology Research Park


  • Barney Warf


Among the most rapidly growing and technologically dynamic industries in the U.S. today, biotechnology has captured the imagination of entrepreneurial politicians and investors alike. With a reputation for generating high-wage jobs and highly profitable outputs, particularly pharmaceuticals, this sector has become central to the competitive designs of many states, counties, and cities throughout the United States, and indeed, much of the economically developed world. While there is a rich and insightful literature in geography on "high technology" industries, particularly in light of theories of post-Fordism and flexible production, geographical treatments of biotechnology are sparse (cf. Delaney 1993). As biotechnology has grown economically and diversified geographically, this issue has acquired new significance, particularly in light of the attempts of many Southern states to diversify their economies.