Saturday, June 29, 2013

End of Creative Class Migration

Silicon Valley is the new Detroit at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Innovation Economy convergence.

Subject Article: "The Metropolitan Revolution."

Other Links: 1. "Is the World 'Flat' or 'Spiky'? Rethinking the Governance Implications of Globalization for Economic Development."
2. "Thomas Friedman And Richard Florida Are Wrong."
3. "Artists fleeing the city: High cost of living, fewer part-time jobs drive them out of New York."
4. "The Ungeography of the Creative Class."
5. "The Brain Gain: The Rise of San Antonio’s Talent Economy."
6. "Why investors & tech startups are flocking to downtown Las Vegas."
7. "The New Geography of Jobs (Enrico Moretti)."
8. "Innovation Economy Is Dying."
9. "Should Cities Professionally Brand Themselves To Attract Workers?"
10. "Debunking Myths About Highly-Skilled Immigration and the Global Race for Talent."
11. "Talent Attraction Crisis."
12. "10 Reasons Why Pittsburgh Owned 2012."

Postscript: Apropos of everything, Bruce Katz (co-author of "The Metropolitan Revolution.") musing about Silicon Valley's decline:

"What's happening now is workers want to be in Oakland and San Francisco," he told Walter Isaacson. Young workers want to live in a city -- somewhere they can ride bikes, shop locally, walk to their favorite restaurants and bars, and live in a dense urban or urban-lite environment with nearby amenities. But Silicon Valley isn't like a city. It's like a suburb. "Silicon Valley is going to have to urbanize," Katz said. "[There is a] migration out of Silicon Valley to places where people really want to live."

I come to a similar conclusion from a different angle. Silicon Valley, the spiky center of the Innovation Economy, is diffusing. Both Enrico Moretti and Richard Florida describe the concentration of brains in a few US metros. The start date for this migration trend is 1970, the beginning of the Creative Class Era. I figure the Innovation Economy peaked in the late 1990s with the Dot Com boom. In the wake of the last recession, some 40-years after the birth of the Creative Class Era, the dominant talent migration pattern began to change. Brains were showing up in Flat World San Antonio. Innovation was becoming less spiky. Companies looking for geographic arbitrage opportunities move to where real estate and talent are cheaper. Silicon Valley 2010 is Detroit 1950.

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