In 1906, James McKeen Cattell of Columbia University assembled a list of the 1000 most eminent American scientists of his day and published an analysis of their geographic distribution in the journal Science, including the 40 cities with at least five top scientists. Those cities correspond to 30 metropolitan areas today. Those metropolitan areas were home to 26 percent of 1900 U.S. population but 78 percent of the nation’s top scientists. Today, these metropolitan areas account for 24 percent of the U.S. population and 42 percent of U.S.
My colleague Jonathan Rothwell already reviewed economist Enrico Moretti’s wonderful book, “The New Geography of Jobs,” but I wanted to jump in to highlight one particularly important point among the many Moretti makes.
What explains the wide range of economic growth and prosperity across U.S. regions, and why is it so hard for struggling metro areas to reverse multi-decade trends? These are the questions that urban economist Enrico Moretti addresses in The New Geography of Jobs. In his vision, innovative workers and companies create prosperity that flows broadly, but these gains are mostly metropolitan in scale, meaning that geography substantially determines economic vitality. To start, the book offers a hopeful interpretation of technological change and globalization.
Edward Glaeser, approving of Michael Bloomberg's plan to lure an applied science campus to New York City, expounds on the economic benefit a city enjoys from having a university in it: More than 20 years ago, Adam Jaffe published an article that used patent data to show the links between universities and nearby companies.
Are regional college education rates a stay against metro unemployment in bad times?