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Book Launch: The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Professor Michael Storper gave a talk on his recently-published book, The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies. It explores reasons why, over the past 40 years, the economic standings of California's two largest urban regions, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, have diverged so considerably. In terms of traditional economic theory, divergence is a surprise that requires explanation, and the story of Los Angeles serves as a natural experiment of history akin to the ones explored in Guns, Germs and Steel by UCLA Professor of Geography Jared Diamond.In the 1970s, Los Angeles and San Francisco stood on relatively equal footing in terms of per capita income as two top-tier cities in the U.S. -- 4th and 1st respectively. Since then, Los Angeles has come to resemble middle-tier metropolitan areas like Detroit and Cleveland, whereas San Francisco continues to be 1st in the nation in per capita income. San Francisco residents enjoy higher wages and greater investment, as well as produce more patents. Storper examines various potential causes such as immigration patterns, economic development policies, and so forth, and persuasively dismisses them all to arrive at one conclusion: the difference was in [...]

By | 2017-05-19T16:01:49+00:00 February 16th, 2016|