US Global Cities as Centers of Attraction of Foreign TNCs

Martin Pilka, Nikolay Sluka



The concept of global cities and the importance of transnationalisation processes in their formation are widely acknowledged. However, the debate surrounding global city identification continues. The study introduces a new approach to evaluating global cities by primarily looking at them as locales for foreign multinational corporations. By analysing the location decisions made by foreign TNCs in the Forbes 2000 rankings, two things become apparent: the “nodality” of US global cities and their hierarchical pattern. Our findings show the key role that Alpha global cities play in attracting and fostering international business. We identify five uneven groups of cities. These groups are defined in accordance with our methodology and are as follows: the New York city-hegemon, leading cities, heavyweight cities, middleweight cities and outsider cities. The article specifies several key factors determining a city’s attractiveness to foreign corporations: its geo-economical power, functional specialisation, location, historical and cultural ties, and position on different sectoral markets.


global cities, foreign TNCs, United States, city hierarchy

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