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Big Boom Theory

Is the housing market stealing away high-tech dollars?

By Crystal Detamore-Rodman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

During the dotcom boom of the late 1990s, investors couldn'tget enough of the high-tech stock sector. That is, until the bottomfell out. Since then, investors have been flocking to the red-hothousing market. But while homeownership has hit record levels,high-tech innovation may be suffering in its wake.

"In the late '90s, the economy was being propelled by aonce- or twice-in-a-lifetime surge in investment in hightechnology," says economist Marshall J. Vest, director of theEconomic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizonain Tucson. "Of course, investment in high technology improvesproductivity, wages, the standard of living--there's a bigpayback when you invest in technology. [In] the past few years, theeconomy [has been] driven by investment in real estate. While moneyhas been flowing into real estate, it has not been flowing into thekinds of investments businesses undertake to make themselves moreproductive."

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