The New Geography of Jobs

The New Geography of Jobs

From a rising young economist, an examination of innovation and success, and where to find them in America. An unprecedented redistribution of jobs, population, and wealth is under way in America, and it is likely to accelerate in the years to come. America’s new economic map shows growing differences, not just between people but especially between communities. In this imp...

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Title:The New Geography of Jobs
Author:Enrico Moretti
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The New Geography of Jobs Reviews

  • Jared Oliva

    I picked up this book a couple years ago because I was tired of reading periodicals constantly trying to incite American class warfare. Specifically, the articles and journalists that decried upwardly mobile sectors (like tech), but never gave holistic pictures of the actual problem or potential solutions to urban inequality.

    Enrico Moretti, professor of economics at UC Berkeley, describes how developments in the US economy have contributed to the evolution (or devolution) of urban centers all o

    I picked up this book a couple years ago because I was tired of reading periodicals constantly trying to incite American class warfare. Specifically, the articles and journalists that decried upwardly mobile sectors (like tech), but never gave holistic pictures of the actual problem or potential solutions to urban inequality.

    Enrico Moretti, professor of economics at UC Berkeley, describes how developments in the US economy have contributed to the evolution (or devolution) of urban centers all over the United States. He also demonstrates how reactionary policies in both business and government can determine the rise or fall of American cities.

    There are a lot of good case studies and trends in the book-- too many for a GR review. However, my favorite one was the job multiplier effect.

    This exemplifies the strengths of community synergy between skilled and high-skilled labor.

    Moretti's

    gives an honest, balanced insight into the systemic issues facing American cities, not just their symptoms.

  • L.A. Starks

    Moretti's book, copyrighted in 2012, is ahead of the curve of books like JD Vance's Hillbilly Elegy and Charles Murray's Coming Apart but gives early hints of the same thing. The book is both investigative--what causes job clusters in cities, especially Silicon Valley--compared with areas unable to attract jobs--and then what should be done to mitigate the divergence.

    Moretti's factors include an important mesh of seed companies, early (but not continuing) public investment, strong un

    Moretti's book, copyrighted in 2012, is ahead of the curve of books like JD Vance's Hillbilly Elegy and Charles Murray's Coming Apart but gives early hints of the same thing. The book is both investigative--what causes job clusters in cities, especially Silicon Valley--compared with areas unable to attract jobs--and then what should be done to mitigate the divergence.

    Moretti's factors include an important mesh of seed companies, early (but not continuing) public investment, strong universities, and good lifestyles.

    Moretti's prescription for areas that fall behind rely, alas, on new government programs, and the assumption that the federal government is efficient and unbiased.

    It is possible to wonder what might have happened to, say, Solyndra, if we'd taken trade negotiations and currency devaluation by other countries more seriously sooner. As well, Moretti neglects private incentives like the investment resulting from income tax cuts. He does make a good point about labor stickiness--sometimes, people don't want to move to areas with open jobs for family and other reasons.

    I highly recommend this book to those interested in job geography for Moretti's research, analysis, and non-obvious conclusions about factors that encourage job growth in specific locations. It's instructive that he wrote it while on sabbatical at Stanford University.

  • John Draxler

    Like anything out of silicon valley, it is a little more heavy on venture capital as the panacea, but otherwise it's a fantastic outline on modern economic forces, why cities are growing, and what we need to do next.

  • Veronica

    "If you are a below-average worker, Europe offers better security. If you are an exceptionally talented individual, however, the United States offers more: your career will progress faster and your salary will be significantly higher. The United States has one of the highest returns on education among industrialized countries."

  • Mehrsa

    This book is excellent and a must-read for anyone in policy or who thinks about inequality. There is a lot of great data in here and it really helped me think through some solutions for inequality and unemployment. The fate of American cities mirrors the fate of American people--the "winners" are taking home more of the pie and the "losers" are in free-fall. The same goes for American cities--see for example: San Francisco and Detroit. I think he's much too pessimistic at the end for possible so

    This book is excellent and a must-read for anyone in policy or who thinks about inequality. There is a lot of great data in here and it really helped me think through some solutions for inequality and unemployment. The fate of American cities mirrors the fate of American people--the "winners" are taking home more of the pie and the "losers" are in free-fall. The same goes for American cities--see for example: San Francisco and Detroit. I think he's much too pessimistic at the end for possible solutions. I do think big public works programs can do a lot to jump start recoveries in some of these cities. I don't see another option.

  • John Barbour

    This was my first foray into geographical economics or economic geography. The bottom line to the book is this: Jobs cluster around innovative centers. Because of this, there is a great divergence in salaries and standard of living that is taking place in America between the most and least innovative metropolitan areas. This has created three Americas (including the middle between the extremes).

    All of this is because of a thing called agglomeration that occurs in innovative areas fro

    This was my first foray into geographical economics or economic geography. The bottom line to the book is this: Jobs cluster around innovative centers. Because of this, there is a great divergence in salaries and standard of living that is taking place in America between the most and least innovative metropolitan areas. This has created three Americas (including the middle between the extremes).

    All of this is because of a thing called agglomeration that occurs in innovative areas from such seemingly random events as Bill Gates locating Microsoft near Seattle, where he grew up instead of Albuquerque. Agglomeration is a word that describes the benefits that firms obtain when locating near each other.

    According to Moretti, there are three primary factors contributing to this.

    1. Big demand for innovative workers and big supply of innovative companies.

    2. A kind of ecosystem that develops in an area that includes venture capitalists within close driving distance.

    3. The idea of knowledge spillover which is a type of human capital externality.

  • Sean Williams

    This was a solid book, but it raised a few questions that it really just ended up glossing over. Like it ignored the fact that visa recipients are usually willing to work for less money. Or that cost of living in innovation hubs may not matter much for the creative class, but it matters much more for the service sector people. Overall, it just didn't answer all the questions it brought up.

  • Xavier Shay

    Good read if you're interested in the topic.

    * High paying knowledge jobs cause a "spill over" effect, creating a surprising number of other jobs: "Indeed, my research shows that for each new high-tech job in a city, five additional jobs are ultimately created outside of the high-tech sector in that city, both in skilled occupations (lawyers, teachers, nurses) and in unskilled ones (waiters, hairdressers, carpenters). For each new software designer hired at Twitter in San Francisco, t

    Good read if you're interested in the topic.

    * High paying knowledge jobs cause a "spill over" effect, creating a surprising number of other jobs: "Indeed, my research shows that for each new high-tech job in a city, five additional jobs are ultimately created outside of the high-tech sector in that city, both in skilled occupations (lawyers, teachers, nurses) and in unskilled ones (waiters, hairdressers, carpenters). For each new software designer hired at Twitter in San Francisco, there are five new job openings for baristas, personal trainers, doctors, and taxi drivers in the community."

    * Seattle was a shithole only like 30-40 years ago but now it's great.

    * "Since college graduates are not compensated for the benefit that they bestow on everyone around them, there are fewer college graduates than we as a society would ideally like. To put it differently, if the salary of college graduates reflected its full social value, more people would go to college. One way to correct for this market failure is to provide public subsidies for college education. Indeed, this is the reason that state and local governments pick up much of the cost of educating their residents. There are certainly other reasons to justify public investment in higher education—political and ethical—but I know of none more powerful than this one. It is in our own interest to subsidize other people’s education, as it ends up indirectly benefiting us."

    * America is in big trouble, education wise. Need to either fix high school or fix immigration.

  • Stefani

    I was actually pretty surprised at how much I didn't enjoy this book, since I had been looking forward to reading it for a while. Perhaps it's because Moretti's basic premise, that economic goods clusters are great for the economy because they promote growth, is really not anything new (see anything that Michael Porter has ever written). There might be a slight new angle in that the technology sector is now the beloved cluster example of choice and is different from past clusters like manufactur

    I was actually pretty surprised at how much I didn't enjoy this book, since I had been looking forward to reading it for a while. Perhaps it's because Moretti's basic premise, that economic goods clusters are great for the economy because they promote growth, is really not anything new (see anything that Michael Porter has ever written). There might be a slight new angle in that the technology sector is now the beloved cluster example of choice and is different from past clusters like manufacturing because it is a knowledge-based good, rather than a physical labor-based good.

    My biggest objection throughout the book however, has more to do with the way the author treated the subject of low- and moderate-income individuals, when he chose to do so at all. His suggestion for people losing out because they don't have knowledge-skills is to simply move cities to where there might be more jobs. And there is a continual undervaluing of the impacts of displacement and systemic inequalities in education and neighborhood stratification. I would have liked to have seen a much deeper analysis of all the externalities of the growth he discusses in his book.

  • Ilana

    At its best it just rips off Michael Porter.

    At its worst it is a sneering defense of corporate stockholders logic with a lack of nuance into why life might be different outside Silicon Valley where the author lives. We all deserve better.

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