The role of colleges and universities in building local human capital
Colleges and universities can contribute to the economic success of a region by deepening the skills and knowledge?or human capital?of its residents. Producing graduates who join the region?s educated workforce is one way these institutions increase human capital levels. In addition, the knowledge and technologies created through research activities at area universities may not only attract new firms to a region but also help existing businesses expand and innovate. These ?spillover effects? can in turn raise the region?s demand for high-skilled workers.
Why Are Some Places So Much More Unequal Than Others?
This study examines the magnitude and sources of regional wage inequality in the United States. The authors find that, as in the nation as a whole, wage inequality has increased in nearly every metropolitan area since the early 1980s, though there is significant variation among places in both the degree of wage inequality and the pace at which it has risen. The most unequal places tend to be large urban areas that have benefited from strong demand for skill and agglomeration economies, with these factors leading to particularly rapid wage growth for high-skilled workers. The least unequal ...
Local Hangovers: How the Housing Boom and Bust Affected Jobs in Metro Areas
What explains why some places suffered particularly severe job losses during the Great Recession? In this post, we extend our recent Current Issues article analyzing regional dimensions of the latest housing cycle and show that metropolitan areas that experienced the biggest housing booms and busts from 2000 to 2008 lost the most jobs during the recession. Not surprisingly, construction activity helps explain the tight link between housing and local job market performance. Given this pattern, we believe that each metro area’s boom-bust experience is likely to continue to influence its ...
Job Polarization in the United States: A Widening Gap and Shrinking Middle
Over recent decades, the U.S. workforce has undergone a dramatic restructuring in response to changes in technology, trade, and consumption patterns. Some sectors, such as health care, have expanded, while others, such as manufacturing, have contracted. These changes have altered the composition of the workforce, leading to a phenomenon often referred to as “job polarization,” an important factor contributing to economic inequality in the nation. In this post, we show that the wage gap between high- and low-paid occupations has widened over the past three decades. Further, we show that ...
How Colleges and Universities Can Help Their Local Economies
Policymakers are increasingly viewing colleges and universities as important engines of growth for their local areas. In addition to having direct economic impacts, these institutions help to raise the skills of an area?s workforce (its local ?human capital?), and they do this in two ways. First, by educating potential workers, they increase the supply of human capital in a region. Perhaps less obviously, these schools can also raise a region?s demand for human capital by helping local businesses create jobs for skilled workers. In this post, we draw on our recent academic research and ...
What are the Costs of Superstorm Sandy?
Superstorm Sandy has had widespread effects in the tri-state region. Early estimates of the total national costs have been in the range of $30 billion to $50 billion. More recently, the New York State governor?s office has estimated state costs to be $32.8 billion, while the New Jersey governor?s office has calculated state costs to be $29.5 billion; these figures exclude mitigation costs?money spent to protect against future storms. It is important to remember that such figures incorporate two distinct types of costs: first, direct costs related to the destruction of physical assets, such as ...
The Welfare Costs of Superstorm Sandy
As most of the New York metropolitan region begins to get back to normal following the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy, researchers and analysts are trying to assess the total ?economic cost? of the storm. But what, exactly, is meant by economic cost? Typically, those tallying up the economic cost of a disaster think of two types of costs: loss of capital (property damage and destruction) and loss of economic activity (caused by disruptions). But there is another important type of economic loss that often is not estimated or discussed in policymaking decisions: loss of welfare or ...
How Will We Pay for Superstorm Sandy?
While the full extent of the harm caused by superstorm Sandy is still unknown, it?s clear that the region sustained significant damage and disruption, particularly along the coastal areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. As we describe earlier in this series, the economic costs associated with natural disasters are generally thought to arise from the damage and destruction of physical assets and the loss of economic activity. These costs can be substantial, running into the tens of billions, and impose significant stress on the affected communities. In this post, we assess who will ...
The Path of Economic Recovery from Superstorm Sandy
Superstorm Sandy caused damage and disruption to a wide swath of the New York-New Jersey region. The high winds and storm surge resulted in significant physical damage to residential property, commercial real estate, and the power and transportation infrastructure. Everyday activities such as commuting, shopping, and traveling were impeded or in some cases prevented. As a number of communities across the region continue to cope with the damage and ongoing disruptions, there?s concern about if and when activity will return to normal.
How Severe Was the Credit Cycle in the New York-Northern New Jersey Region?
U.S. households accumulated record-high levels of debt in the 2000s, and then began a process of deleveraging following the Great Recession and financial crisis. In some parts of the country, the rise and fall in household indebtedness was quite a bit sharper than in others. In this post, we highlight some of our research examining the magnitude of the recent credit cycle, and focus on how significant it?s been in New York State and northern New Jersey. Compared with the nation as a whole, we find that the region experienced a relatively mild credit cycle, although pockets of elevated ...