Advanced producer servicing networks of world cities

In Chapter 6 advanced producer services featured crucially in the exposition of the interlocking network model. Drawing on Sassen’s (1991) identification of this work as integral to global city formation, the office networks of advanced producer service firms were modelled to generate a world city network. To this end the office networks were aggregated so that differences between different service sectors were lost in the initial modelling. But advanced producer services are of interest in their own right and not just as input in world city network analysis. In this chapter the service categories are ‘recovered’ and described for their importance in contemporary globalization processes. The rise of the service sector was one of the most remarkable changes in the twentieth century world economy (Bryson and Daniels, 1998). Industries in this sector can be divided into those servicing individuals and households (e.g. retail firms) and those servicing businesses (e.g. advertising agencies). These are commonly referred to as consumer services and producer services, respectively, although in practice the distinction is often blurred. For instance, most bank branches in cities offer both retail banking for their individual customers and specific financial services for their business customers. Nevertheless this distinction is a useful one because the business services developed in new ways in the last decades of the twentieth century to create a crucial knowledge component of economic globalization. These were very high value-added services through specialized knowledges – professional, creative and financial – that are the advanced producer services, the subject of this chapter