A new book by Enrico Moretti discusses the ‘geography of jobs‘.



 But the winners and losers aren’t necessarily who you’d expect. Moretti’s groundbreaking research shows that you don’t have to be a scientist or an engineer to thrive in one of these brain hubs. Among the beneficiaries are the workers who support the “idea-creators”—the carpenters, hair stylists, personal trainers, lawyers, doctors, teachers and the like. In fact, Moretti has shown that for every new innovation job in a city, five additional non-innovation jobs are created, and those workers earn higher salaries than their counterparts in other cities.

…. “for every new innovation job in a city, five additional non-innovation jobs are created” – think about that.

3 thoughts on “Technology Makes You Geographically Independant ? Not So Fast.

  1. But, riddle me this one, Batman – are the new ‘innovation jobs’ actually long-term, sustainable jobs? It seems to me that the innovators are also moving around some.

    • It still is all shaking down – and in all honesty still to actually read the book – but I think the key argument is that the associated jobs will be still geographically tied down – just as they were in the old days – eg the cluster of Detroit is replaced by Silicon Valley, Raleigh, Austin and other regions around the world …. and thus those people need the associated services – because they all cluster together and live there. KInd of runs against the idea of everyone working virtually – but I think that people forget that though work can be done virtually, partying and hanging out and doing stuff outside of work is STILL all done in the real world – and so the clusters continue.

      Is that what you meant Jeff.

      • In a way, yes. Innovators will tend to attract each other to an area and they will tend to move between and around companies within an area. So, when some bright spark moves from Silicon Valley to Bend because he can, that generates a bump in our local economy. But when he moves to a new ‘innovation job’ within Bend, there’s a new job but no bump to the economy because his previous job no longer exists. I’m curious to read the book and see what data is used to support the theory. To a certain extent, jobs beget jobs. More construction means more car salesmen sort of thing. But the oft overlooked factor is the hole created by people moving around. 5 news jobs in Bend and 5 lost jobs in the Valley means 0 new jobs, net.

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