America’s College-Educated Workers Increasingly Attracted to “High Skill Cities”


This is consistent with the projections of KnowledgeWorks 3.0 and its concept of shareable cities. The future is arriving!

Reposted from Stanford News:

“Economic well-being inequality in American metropolitan areas increased 67 percent from 1980 to 2000, primarily due to changes in wages, housing costs and local amenities. This is even greater than the 50 percent rise in the difference between wages for high school and college graduates in U.S. cities. The research sample included 218 metropolitan areas in the United States and was restricted to people 25 to 55 years old who worked at least 35 hours per week. 

The reason is that high-skill cities also offer residents more amenities for quality living – entertainment, educational opportunities, better air quality and lower crime rates. The higher housing costs do not fully dilute the real amount of consumption that college workers derive from their high wages, she said. “If the economic value of living in a high-amenity city more than compensates college graduates for the high housing prices, the growth in wage inequality would understate the increase in economic well-being inequality,” Rebecca Diamond, an assistant professor of economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business wrote. “High-skill cities not only appear to offer the highest wages, but also a better quality of life.”

What can cities and communities do? Diamond suggests that local governments attract college graduates by creating desirable amenities. “Policies that could achieve this include offering tax incentives to firms employing high-skill workers,” she wrote, “or funding amenities valued by college graduates such as policies targeting reductions in crime or improvements in the quality of local schools.””

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