Economic Development in the 21st Century in One Sentence

“The most successful economic development policy is to attract and Portrait of business colleagues holding each other and laughingretain smart people and then get out of their way.”

Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard and author of “Triumph of the City.”

The quote is from recent New York Times “Upshot” piece highlighting the ongoing trend of young, college-educated people moving into center cities.

The economic effects reach beyond the work the young people do, according to Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of “The New Geography of Jobs.” For every college graduate who takes a job in an innovation industry, he found, five additional jobs are eventually created in that city, such as for waiters, carpenters, doctors, architects and teachers.

Maybe it is time to re-think how we do economic development.  Should we be moving public resources away from tax subsidies for corporations and toward improving city centers and related public services?

The full story is here.

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