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Instead, what curries favor with Amazon and other tech firms are long-term commitments to education, innovation and livability. These steps come with an added bonus: They are likely to benefit their communities regardless of whether Amazon or another tech giant makes its home there.
All 20 finalists for HQ2, as Amazon calls it, have a common interest in university research, science education and accessible neighborhoods.
“These are not the most incentive-aggressive places in the country," said Joseph Parilla, a Brookings Institution fellow. "They are the places that have the best public and private assets in addition to education and innovation.”
To see which of these metropolitan areas are building truly competitive tech economies, The Washington Post compiled an index of the places competing for Amazon.com based on metrics from Brookings and other analysts.
What we found is that all of them fare better than most other cities in the country, but fall well short of Silicon Valley jurisdictions — a sign of how far Northern California has distanced itself from the rest of the country in such measures as producing computer science degrees and securing patents.
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