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The New Geography of Jobs

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  657 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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John Barbour
Jun 12, 2013 John Barbour rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
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 seemi
...more
Sean Williams
Didn't really answer any questions

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.
Jared Oliva
Feb 13, 2016 Jared Oliva rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Amy
Apr 06, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
A great summary of Moretti's and other economists' research on why highly skilled workers tend to be attracted to cities, and why some cities become "innovation hubs" that make everyone who works there wealthier -- not just the best-compensated people -- compared with workers in cities with fewer knowledge-intensive jobs. Moretti raises his concerns about "The Great Divergence," his term for the fact that people's incomes, educational attainment, and even health are better in prosperous cities ...more
Paul Signorelli
Mar 12, 2013 Paul Signorelli rated it really liked it
UC Berkeley professor of economics Enrico Moretti, in "The New Geography of Jobs," creates a wonderful complement to Richard Florida's books (e.g., "The Rise of the Creative Class" and "Who’s Your City?") through his explorations of how our choices regarding our education and where we live affect the career and earnings options available to us. His first-rate research, combined with his ability to make information visceral through storytelling, make this an engaging work that never loses sight ...more
Christian Overbey
Mar 15, 2013 Christian Overbey rated it really liked it
This is an enlightening book. It attempts to explain income inequalities, income pricing, and global economies in the US context. It is depressing and exhilarating with winners and losers. If you feel like the 1950's were the best time ever, you will not particularly like the news.

There are bright spots and not so bright spots...craft is coming back, kind of. Everything will be mass produced, unless it is high-end specialties for well paid innovation workers.

Innovation is where it's at. That sh
...more
Aigerim
Oct 30, 2014 Aigerim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend this book! Besides labor and urban economists, this book will be useful for those interested in jobs, innovation, workforce development, education and more. It attempts to explain why high-tech jobs are located primarily in the Silicon Valley, Raleigh-Durham, and Boston/Cambridge, why high-skilled immigrants are important for the U.S. economy, why your neighbor's salary affects yours, and more. Moreover, I've found it interesting to look at job creation and development from a ...more
Trevor
Jul 26, 2015 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. One of the best projects of clusters of information that I have ever read. Wow. Gives actual researched data to back up his claims. He's barely claiming anything, in fact. He simply gives the facts and then states the obvious conclusion. No arguing or bullshit of politics. Real data and science that lead to obvious conclusions in regards to what you should do to be economically successful and what needs to happen in political policy that will clearly benefit the whole ...more
Ami Iida
Mar 26, 2016 Ami Iida rated it really liked it
It is extremely important for those who change jobs, immigration, relocation.
Dhimas Anindito
Dec 07, 2016 Dhimas Anindito rated it really liked it
Saying that it is not common for economists to write a book as they prefer to write journals, Moretti combines both writing styles of summarizing his nation-scale researches and his simple examples from several interviewees―including owners of well-known companies. This book delves to how the job landscape in USA shifts from manufacturing sectors to knowledge production and innovation. Supporting his arguments with previous theories in urban economics―including agglomeration, mobility, or even ...more
Rui Yan
Nov 07, 2016 Rui Yan rated it it was ok
From perspectives of an ECON grad students, it's a disappointing book.
I read Moretti's paper(2004) and got fascinated. I thought his book would help me finish his paper with some behind stories and even take me further in the field of local labor market. But it turns out to be bedtime stories kind of thing, maybe for businessmen or high-school students who are interested in economics studies in general.
Fenix Rose
Nov 22, 2013 Fenix Rose rated it it was amazing
With all the talk about jobs mostly just talking points and finger pointing, it was good to get a broader view. To see the bigger picture you need to step back, view the past, view the long run and not just brief snips, view current trends and where things may be headed.

Manufacturing because of technology has changed. The powerhouses of manufacturing that created teh middle class..that is mid-skill level workers..are things of the past as automation has taken over for most of that work. Even so
...more
Michael
Jan 22, 2016 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: geography, economics
Enrico Moretti tells a number of stories about what he calls "The Great Divergence" through the use of Census data, patent data, and other quantitative data sources. The divergence that Moretti describes is largely oriented around education levels. He observes that, over the past 50 years, the US economy has transitioned from producing physical goods to knowledge/innovation and that, during this transition, a large gap has been produced between urban centers throughout the country. There are ...more
Steven
Jan 27, 2014 Steven rated it really liked it
This is a great book and I would absolutely recommend it for anyone trying to get a deeper understanding of the economic situation in the United States.

So why four stars?

As a person soon returning to the US after about 9 years abroad and looking at a career change (along with more schooling) in the process, I was expecting some concrete ideas on career paths to pursue and cities/states to think about moving to.

This type of information is not in the book. Well, to be fair, a handful of cities are
...more
Franz
Oct 20, 2014 Franz rated it really liked it
Unlike some economists who argue that the American economy will be stagnant for decades, Moretti, an economist, is cautiously and refreshingly optimistic. What Americans need to take advantage of are exploiting the innovative brain hubs the country already has, such as Silicon Valley, Austin, Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Raleigh, and add to them. If you aren't living and working in one of these places, your earning potential will be sharply curtailed. These brain hubs attract ...more
Marks54
Oct 07, 2012 Marks54 rated it really liked it
This book is a review ad update on research regarding the economics of geographic clusters in the US. It builds on an important line of work (including that of Krugman that was important in his Nobel Prize) which seeks to explain the emergence of various industry clusters, most notably those in Silicon Valley outside San Francisco or along Route 128 in the Boston area.

The idea is that geography is very important in US economic growth. While some metropolitan areas are growing and prospering, oth
...more
Liam
Jul 23, 2012 Liam rated it it was amazing
"If production keeps increasing, how come manufacturing jobs keep disappearing? The reason for this apparent contradiction is that thanks to technological improvements and investment in new and more sophisticated machinery, U.S. factories ares significantly more efficient than they used to be, so fewer and fewer American workers are needed to produce the same number of goods. ... Take General Motors, for example. In the 1950s, the glory years of Detroit, each GM employee made on average seven ...more
Rab9975
Sep 07, 2014 Rab9975 rated it really liked it
The main thesis of this book is that place still matters. By extension, geography still matters. In themes reminiscent of De Blij's book, "The Power of Place"; where a person lives is a strong determinant of economic success and stability. Where De Blij's book is a counter- argument to the "World is Flat", Moretti's book is focused more on the United States and what the comparative advantage location offers to the economic landscape of the US. I did read this book at the same time as "Tubes" and ...more
Stuart Woolf
Sep 07, 2015 Stuart Woolf rated it liked it
This book reminded me of another book I read a year or two ago called Why Nations Fail: both books were written by notable economists and involved copious research but dragged on longer than needed, were prone to repeat their uncontroversial theses over and over, and were more interesting in their footnotes and asides. I should also say the central arguments of both books were sufficiently flexible as to allow for multiple interpretations of what the authors were actually saying, a weakness in b ...more
Nupur Vanderlick
Feb 16, 2013 Nupur Vanderlick rated it it was amazing
A book I wish I had read about 5 years back. This incredibly insightful book combines history, sociology, geography, economics and a deep knowledge about the nature and dynamics of work - not only in the US but all over the world.
We have historically understood that the rewards of job search efforts belong to those who know the right people at the right places. This book effectively challenges that notion by providing data, graphs and insightful observation to present a compelling case for loca
...more
Michael Griswold
Dec 14, 2012 Michael Griswold rated it really liked it
Enrico Moretti doesn't present a complicated thesis in The New Geography of Jobs. At its' core, its' quite simple actually: Communities that have become innovative, have plentiful job openings and are looking for people, while the old manufacturing belt failed to innovate and is in a decline. The thesis is a challenge to the conventional wisdom that manufacturing is the key to job growth. He's found that innovation actually creates more jobs than manufacturing, yet he admits that not every ...more
Zach
Aug 05, 2013 Zach rated it really liked it
This book has a really interesting premise: American cities that are centers of innovation (San Francisco, Boston, Raleigh-Durham) thrive because the influx of high-tech jobs means that a bunch of support jobs are in demand. So for every software engineer you hire, there's a job for a barber, waitress, garbage truck driver, et cetera.

I think this is important because that's how modern American cities thrive. Manufacturing in America is a thing of the past because you can pick up and move a facto
...more
Steven Slaughter
Jul 18, 2014 Steven Slaughter marked it as to-read
Just beginning, but this book looks promising. An exploration of the importance of location in the success of its citizens. The author's contention is that location matters; unlike "The World is Flat," innovative companies do not gravitate to the cheapest places to live. While global manufacturing may function this way, in the US, innovation is the real commodity, and so where hubs of innovation cluster, everyone is that community will do better than comparable folks in stagnant or dying cities ...more
Marc
Jan 08, 2015 Marc rated it really liked it
Without a doubt the book clarifies an important process of city positioning with which everyone should be familiar with. It explains so much about the politics and moving patterns of people and young college grads.

He makes his argument directly and in a very accessible (although I wish a bit more academic) while trying to load it down with as many personal stories and anecdotes toward this end. However, especially towards the end, the author drones on about topics more tangentially related to th
...more
Stefani
May 20, 2014 Stefani rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mof
Dec 26, 2013 Mof rated it it was amazing
Interesting points:
- Fewer jobs in computer manufacturing than there were on 1985.

- High school graduates in the richest cities make more than college grads in the poorest.
- Skilled and unskilled workers complement each other
- Better educated workforce facilitates adoption of need and better technologies
- Human capital generates externalities


Anecdote to coming apart. Not about class it's about geography.
Phone and email are a way to transmit new ideas. They are no a way to come up with new
...more
Ellen
Jun 29, 2015 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's the thing: if you're ACTUALLY interested in labor economics and how that plays into modern society, by all means, pick up the book. It contains research put into non-boring academic terms that doesn't sound like the author is reciting statistics from a seminar. However, unlike Freakonomics, this book isn't intended as a beginner novel for those who have never forayed into economics. I read this novel because my professor wrote it, and I was interested enough to actually finish it on my ...more
Meepspeeps
Jul 24, 2012 Meepspeeps rated it really liked it
If you don't like economic data, don't read this book. I found it fascinating, especially the clustering and compounding effect of just one decision, such as a brilliant researcher in a particular field essentially causing that field to thrive in his or her particular location. The author clearly outlines research that shows the right way and wrong way for governments to invest in "jobs." The author also makes a strong case for
1. fixing our immigration system to attract many more highly-skilled
...more
Anthony
Dec 27, 2015 Anthony rated it really liked it
A firm rebuttal to Thomas Friedman's "World is Flat" hypothesis which predicted IT penetration leveling the playing field and enabling firms and people to locate wherever, anywhere, given ubiquitous Internet connectivity with HQ, loved ones, and other institutions. Moretti examines the rise of innovation hubs and the Great Divergence, under which high-tech jobs magnets (Bay Area, NYC, Seattle) attract new jobs, generating additional demand for ancillary services (the jobs multiplier effect), ...more
Alfiero  Santarelli
Nov 09, 2014 Alfiero Santarelli rated it liked it
Disappointing. Moretti sits in the bellybutton of the economy driver, Silicon Valley, and from that distorting perspective he observes everything that is going on in the US and the world concerning the polarization of the job market. Starts from a very interesting thesis, that innovative people are attracted from innovation hubs and this has a spillover effect on the local economy, but then he bends all data and evidences to support it and what is worse, he is clearly stating that "all this is ...more
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Enrico Moretti is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among other publications.
More about Enrico Moretti...

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“reaches the American consumer, only one American worker has physically touched the final product: the UPS delivery guy.” 1 likes
“Apple, for example. It employs 12,000 workers in Cupertino. Through the multiplier effect, however, the company generates more than 60,000 additional service jobs in the entire metropolitan area, of which 36,000 are unskilled and 24,000 are skilled. Incredibly, this means that the main effect of Apple on the region’s employment is on jobs outside of high tech.” 0 likes
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