In her book Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (1994), Saxenian proposes a hypothesis to explain why California's Silicon Valley was able to keep up with the fast pace of technological progress during the 1980s, while the vertically integrated firms of the Route 128 beltway fell behind. She argues that the key was Silicon Valley's decentralized organizational form, non-proprietary standards, and tradition of cooperative exchange (sharing information and outsourcing for component parts), in opposition to hierarchical and independent industrial systems in the East Coast.
Her most recent book, The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy (2006), explores the globalization of the technology workforce that has occurred as the "brain drain" becomes a "brain circulation" with immigrant Indian, Chinese, and Israeli professionals taking the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial model to their home countries while also maintaining connections with the US.
- Régional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 Harvard University Press, 1994, ISBN 9780674753396
- The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy Harvard University Press, 2007, ISBN 9780674025660
- Il vantaggio competitivo dei sistemi locali nell'era della globalizzazione. Cultura e competizione nella Silicon Valley e nella Route 128 FrancoAngeli, 2002, ISBN 9788846439710
- Silicon Valley's new immigrant entrepreneurs Public Policy Institute of California, 1999, ISBN 9781582130095
- The Silicon Valley-Hsinchu Connection: Technical Communities and Industrial Upgrading Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, 1999
- Local and Global Networks of Immigrant Professionals in Silicon Valley Public Policy Instit. of CA, 2002, ISBN 9781582130484
- America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs 2012
- Regional networks and the resurgence of Silicon Valley Institute of Urban & Regional Development, University of California, 1989
- The Cheshire Cat's Grin: Innovation, Regional Development and the Cambridge Case Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Political Science, 1987
- The origins and dynamics of production networks in Silicon Valley Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, 1990
- A Fugitive Success: Finland's Economic Future SITRA, 2008, ISBN 9789515636386
- "AnnaLee Saxenian". UC Berkeley School of Information. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
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