Metro Policy

Where the Grads Are: Degree Attainment in Metro Areas
May 31, 2012

So if you haven’t found a job yet: You’re better off coming to the city than sitting on your parents’ couch. Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Remarks at the Cornell University 2012 Convocation, May 27, 2012 As another college graduation season draws to a close, today’s New York Times reports the results of a small analysis we conducted on college degree attainment rates in metropolitan areas. We examined the share of adults age 25 and over in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas who held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2010, versus in 1970.

Creating Value from Society's Waste: The Viennese Method
May 29, 2012

Trash. Just the sound of the word brings to mind rotten food, mountainous landfills, and general noxiousness. But what if a city turned this image on its head? What if trash became a city resource? What if landfills became a relic of the past? This is the exact effort underway in Vienna, Austria.

New Shifts in Rhetoric as Education Reformers Come to Rule the Roost
May 23, 2012

Guest post by Thomas Toch Some school reformers said it would never happen. But after spending nearly two decades launching thousands of charter schools to challenge traditional public school systems, the Teach for America generation of social entrepreneurs who poured out of the nation’s best colleges bent on transforming urban education are now moving into leadership positions in the very school systems they sought to replace. Not surprisingly, they’re working hard to introduce a new performance-driven brand of public schooling into often-dysfunctional government bureaucracies.

The Metropolitan Nature of IPOs
May 18, 2012

Facebook’s IPO (Initial Public Offering) is projected to value the company at $104 billion. Reportedly, only Visa has had a larger IPO. Only time will tell if Facebook is really worth such an astronomical sum, but one thing about it is not all extraordinary: Its location in the Bay Area. From 1996 to 2006, 9 percent of all U.S. IPOs were headquartered in the San Francisco metropolitan areas--where Facebook is located--and another 10 percent came from the San Jose metro area. The data come from University of California-Davis professor Martin Kenney and his colleague Don Patton.

Creating an Export-Import Bank for the 21st Century
May 17, 2012

Earlier this week, after a lengthy period of uncertainty, the Senate passed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) of the United States. This is good news, as my colleague Devashree Saha has detailed in other postings, as the Ex-Im Bank is an important element of our National Export Initiative and a critical source of needed financing for would-be U.S. exporters. And yet, there is still work to do to ensure that the Ex-Im Bank keeps pace with the fast-changing U.S. economy and the latest dynamics of U.S.

Re-Upping the Export-Import Bank for Jobs and Growth
May 14, 2012

In a rare bipartisan compromise, the House last week approved the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, ensuring that the bank will continue to provide critical financial assistance to U.S.

Did Manufacturing Job Losses Hold the Midwest Back?
May 14, 2012

There is a strain of thought among some policy experts that manufacturing, especially in the Midwest, is a dead-end for regional economic development.  In a series of recent Brookings reports, my co-authors and I have challenged that view. The conventional wisdom won’t die easily, though.

Putting Manufacturing in Its Place(s)
May 10, 2012

American manufacturing is basically the same everywhere. It’s an albatross around the necks of places that depend on it, preventing them from attracting the “creative class,” which drives economic development today. Except in a few very high tech industries, such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturers are looking for lower costs above all else. That’s why, if they’re staying in the United States at all, they’re moving to low-wage locations.  Metropolitan areas, with their higher costs, offer manufacturers no special advantages. These beliefs about the geography of manufacturing in the United States

States Smarten Up on Economic Development Incentives
May 07, 2012

States and localities have long regarded corporate tax incentives as handy tools for economic development. Experts, meanwhile, have equally long found occasion for criticism in their implementation.   Now, steadily accumulating evidence suggests that states are getting smarter in their design of incentive packages and that the practice is changing, gradually, for the better. Incentive packages have become so prevalent that an entire boutique consulting industry exists around helping corporations maximize them.   A fierce competition for capital compels states to offer increasingly generous pac

Vienna Offers a Glimpse of the ‘Next Metropolis’
May 03, 2012

“Smart cities” is the urban buzz phrase of the last few years, and fans often turn to European cities for inspiration. From Amsterdam’s bike lanes to Copenhagen’s wind power, from Barcelona’s 22@ innovation district to Berlin’s dramatic redevelopment, European examples abound.