Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Oil: Resource Curse or Launchpad?

Lawyers striking it rich in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Theme: Economic development

Subject Article: "St John's: Big-city practice, small town lifestyle."

Other Links: 1. "The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey."
2. "Borderlines: Oh, (No) Canada!"
3. "What Dutch disease is, and why it's bad."

Postscript: A few weeks ago, a Texas magazine asked me to write about the impact of low oil prices on the migration to the state. Migration patterns are surprisingly resilient. Over time, persistently low oil prices would reshape U.S. migration. But we are probably talking decades, not months. Domestic migration is more dynamic than international migration. Thus, I expect Houston to continue to boom as an immigrant gateway. More importantly, the oil boom has gathered considerable brain power and wealth in Texas. I see it as the new California concerning the aspirational geography of choice for the location-fickle. Texas is much more than a petro-state, at least within the Triangle of metros the attract people from across the nation and around the world.


D Holmes said...

What happened in St. John's seems to fly in the face of some of global cities theory. Supposedly, these specialized skills all get outsourced to the global cities like Chicago, Toronto or Montreal with their globally connected services firms. According to Saskia Sassen "once powerful cities like Detroit or St. Louis that soared in the industrial era seem doomed to be left behind by the global era" due to their inability to be develop into centers for the specialized skills needed for globalized industries (like oil production).

I believe you are correct regarding St. John's and that there's something lacking in current global cities theories. The global cities like Chicago aren't quite as special as they seem, or the smaller cities quite as doomed. I've been curious as to why Chicago (with all of its global experts in manufacturing)seems to have lagged Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin in terms of the relative success of it's legacy manufacturing firms.

Jim Russell said...

I too am confused by Chicago. Some data suggest the global city Sassen celebrates. Other data suggest a regional power that (given the global assets) under-performs.