According to rising young economist Enrico Moretti, of U.C. Berkeley, we are in the midst of an unprecedented redistribution of jobs, population, and wealth - and a huge shift in the world's centers of innovation - that will only accelerate in the years to come.
Tectonic shifts are reshaping the labor market — from globalization and income inequality to immigration and technological progress — and these shifts are dramatically affecting our communities.
New Innnovation Hubs are emerging - cities with a well-educated labor force and a strong innovation sector. Their workers are among the most productive, creative, and best paid on the planet. At the other extreme are cities once dominated by traditional manufacturing, which are declining rapidly, losing jobs and residents.
In the middle are a number of cities that could go either way - and, for the past 30 years, these differences have been diverging at an accelerating rate. This divergence is one the most important recent developments and is causing growing geographic disparities is all other aspects of our lives, from health and longevity to family stability and political engagement.
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.
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.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
As the global economy shifted from manufacturing to innovation, geography was supposed to matter less. But the pundits were wrong. A new map is being drawn — the inevitable result of deep-seated but rarely discussed economic forces.
Julie Ann talks with Moretti about how these trends are reshaping the very fabric of our society - and the effects these innovation shifts will have on you, your work, and your potential going forward.
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