My hypothesis is that as the Knowledge Economy grows, labor mobility will increase. In fact, I suspect that the ability and inclination of knowledge workers to move in order to improve will be a defining feature of the emerging economy. I think my idea makes sense, but I need some proof of concept.
Once again, content connectors come to my rescue. Mike Madison, of Pittsblog fame, posted about an article that describes Pittsburgh's chances of creating the next Silicon Valley about as likely as building another New York Yankees baseball team from scratch. The point is that there is only so much talent to go around. At first, I reacted only to the baseball analogy. A look at the article in question revealed a few useful nuggets for my own cause.
The controversy concerns the return on investment from pumping money into local universities. The rub is that "smart people" and "research ideas" tend to leave the region of origin. State, regional, or local educational subsidies likely produce benefits for other states or regions. Georgia spends a great deal of money trying to keep high school graduates instate. Studies suggest that this is a poor strategy.
There are benefits from investing in higher education, but the returns are not likely to be seen regionally.