Explaining the Growth and Globalization of Silicon Valley: The Past and Today


The San Francisco Bay Area encompassing Silicon Valley is arguably the most important region in the world for the application of digital technologies to social and economic life. Martin Kenney and John Zysman (2016) have argued that a new economy based on digital platforms is emerging and Bay Area firms are at the center of this development. The current conjuncture is the result of a set of historical forces, some of which are very local and others of which are global and national. The region is the result of an intensely local process even as its firms, entrepreneurs and markets are global. Silicon Valley’s rise to prominence, since, at least, the early 1980s, has had an increasingly significant effect upon the global political economy through its gradual emergence as the center of the world’s information and communication technologies (ICT). 

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Publication date: 
January 12, 2017
Publication type: 
Working Paper