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The New Geography of Jobs

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,027 ratings  ·  242 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 imp
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Lauren Mullally There are 7 chapters and an introduction. Also contains notes, references, and an index.

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Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enrico Moretti has studied why jobs accumulate in certain cities and regions, while other regions remain stagnant or worse. He shows how important a hub of innovation can be. But while that hub is aided by the presence of a prominent university, it is not sufficient. Other factors tie in, such as the presence of a few prominent innovators--individuals who draw more and more top innovators into the region. People like to "be where the action is".

The whole issue of the geography of jobs, is that t
L.A. Starks
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Moretti's book, copyrighted in 2012, is ahead of the curve of books like JD Vance's Hillbilly Elegy and Charles Murray's Coming Apart but gives early hints of the same thing. The book is both investigative--what causes job clusters in cities, especially Silicon Valley--compared with areas unable to attract jobs--and then what should be done to mitigate the divergence.

Moretti's factors include an important mesh of seed companies, early (but not continuing) public investment, strong universities,
Jan 31, 2013 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 manufactur ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent and a must-read for anyone in policy or who thinks about inequality. There is a lot of great data in here and it really helped me think through some solutions for inequality and unemployment. The fate of American cities mirrors the fate of American people--the "winners" are taking home more of the pie and the "losers" are in free-fall. The same goes for American cities--see for example: San Francisco and Detroit. I think he's much too pessimistic at the end for possible so ...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.
John Barbour
Jul 17, 2012 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
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics, america
"If you are a below-average worker, Europe offers better security. If you are an exceptionally talented individual, however, the United States offers more: your career will progress faster and your salary will be significantly higher. The United States has one of the highest returns on education among industrialized countries."
Mar 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2019
At its best it just rips off Michael Porter.
At its worst it is a sneering defense of corporate stockholders logic with a lack of nuance into why life might be different outside Silicon Valley where the author lives. We all deserve better.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand the long-run forces shaping the modern economy, read this book. Why can't I afford an apartment in Berkeley? Why are there no jobs in the middle of the country, or for less educated workers? What about immigration?

The only problem with reading this book is that unless you already own a home in SF, Seattle, Austin, DC, or a handful of other places, *and* are very well educated (I'm 1 for 2), you're SOL. The cities with tech jobs will continue to grow, the well-educated
Samuel Beer
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: hoopla
I'm clearly not an economist.

Moretti does address lots of important issues like the question of mobility and issues inequality more thoughtfully than I've seen from other economists; however, I still found myself unsatisfied with his treatment of these issues. I think it's a disciplinary thing. To Moretti (with the exception of a very small number of points in the text) it seemed that all costs and benefits associated with decision-making are economic. Rephrased, the idea of value as expressed i
John Draxler
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like anything out of silicon valley, it is a little more heavy on venture capital as the panacea, but otherwise it's a fantastic outline on modern economic forces, why cities are growing, and what we need to do next.
Xavier Shay
Good read if you're interested in the topic.

* High paying knowledge jobs cause a "spill over" effect, creating a surprising number of other jobs: "Indeed, my research shows that for each new high-tech job in a city, five additional jobs are ultimately created outside of the high-tech sector in that city, both in skilled occupations (lawyers, teachers, nurses) and in unskilled ones (waiters, hairdressers, carpenters). For each new software designer hired at Twitter in San Francisco, there are fiv
Jared Oliva
Feb 12, 2016 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
Apr 03, 2015 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 t ...more
Rachel Moyes
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really interesting. Made me want to move to Silicon Valley. Also inspired me to delete all the games off my phone because I haven't yet met my potential of economic productiveness and I need to get on that.

Also, whatever Moretti does is my dream job.
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's largely cold and clinical, but you can feel Moretti's anger come through the page when he turns to America's public conversation around immigration. There are 14 engineers on my team at Amazon, and me and one other guy are white; the majority of the team are immigrants. If Amazon could find US citizens to hire, they would surely do so as it is significantly cheaper. No H1B process, cheaper relocation costs, etc. It's funny that he had such disdain for the conversation tha ...more
David Wunderlich
It’s a well written explainer of agglomeration and gives a concise explanation for large pieces of the system of business, economics, trade, and immigration sometimes known as neoliberalism.

It is from 2012, so it’s something of an interesting time capsule. It was written while the effects of the Great Recession were still being felt but still has optimism throughout. I do wonder how much it will hold up over time; the book takes of endless migration patterns towards the big cities but I heard an
Patrick Walsh
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
“An unprecedented redistribution of jobs, population, and wealth is under way in America, and it’s likely to accelerate in the decades to come.”

Helped me understand why the most prosperity in the US has concentrated in just a handful of cities, and why others are left behind. The author also argued that our nation would be much richer and more equal if we paid for more students to go to college, allowed more educated immigrants into the country, and loosened development restrictions in big citie
A really good book, it doesn’t have the typical pop economics feel, it explores the issue in depth while also incorporating and explaining basic international economics theories yet it manages to do it in such a way that it could easy be read by non-economists as well. Not only I would recommend it to pretty much everyone, but I’d say it’s en essential read for any US voter.
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not what I expected, but so much better. Rather than a list of what jobs can be found where, this is an in depth look at the forces that separate places like Silicon Valley from Detroit in terms of opportunity and income. The author also talks in depth about the global workforce differs and competes with our (US) own. This would have been an amazingly useful read my freshman year of college or sooner.
Jul 11, 2020 added it
Interesting read through the lens of covid- I do think a lot of points are still valid but curious if localization of jobs/hubs will persist as there is more acceptance of remote work in the idea economy
Amanda McBreen
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've read in 2019. A must-read for college kids, business professionals, and people with any type of future ahead of them!
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is beginning to feel a bit outdated in 2019, but the principles are sound and the theories are very interesting. More than about jobs, it is a book about clusters and how they are formed and what can be done to push for clusters and better clusters and what to do with places that are not clusters.
Casey Fegs
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give it 6 stars. Fantastic book.
Auggie Heschmeyer
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I'd love to read the sequel now that mass working from home will disrupt a lot of the ideas in this book.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economy
Excellent, excellent economic book that everybody with an interest in America's economic future and inequality should read. "The New Geography Of Jobs" is an economic book that is surprisingly short and easy-to-read (rarities in economic texts, probably). It's my first time reading a book like this (excluding "Freakonomics") but I doubt other books are as clear and concise as this.

Moretti (an economist at UC Berkeley)'s basic thesis is that over the last few decades, America has transitioned fro
Yraya W.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was actually quite good. It started off really confusing, especially for someone like me who doesn't know much and isn't quite interested on business or jobs. However, the more you read the more it started to make sense. It got a lot easier to read and the content was very nice. It taught me a lot of things and it all made sense. I had to think about every now and then, but overall it was pretty good. The author included lots of facts and made sure that everything flowed well. His orga ...more
Bill Manzi
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The “New Geography of Jobs” by Enrico Moretti is a book well worth reading despite the fact that it is a few years old. Moretti tackles issues of the economic divisions that exist in the country, how they developed, and why the trend is likely to continue under current conditions. Moretti describes the geographic clusters that have produced great jobs for the highly educated, while leaving some areas of the country (flyover country?) behind. How did these clusters come into being, and why are th ...more
Sep 10, 2012 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, ot
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
I opened up this book because of my interest in Taiwan's Shinzu science-based industrial park. Shinzu is home to Taiwan's top tech companies, and salaries in Shinzu are the highest in the country, with many medical and other professionals who accompany the tech workers.

Moretti turns Tom Friedman's The World is Flat on its head. America's wealth is clustered around its main tech cities. Lawyers in Silicon Valley are paid more than lawyers in NY and DC.

His entire argument can be found in chapter f
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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.

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“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.” 3 likes
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