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The New Geography of Jobs Hardcover – May 22, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition / First Printing edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547750110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547750118
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


  "Moretti has written the most important book of the year, I can't recommend it enough. The Cal-Berkeley economic professor's book is extremely necessary for politicians and commentators alike, book that artfully slays myriad myths that cloud the economic debate. Brilliant."


"Enrico Moretti is a first-rate empirical researcher who has taught us much about the geographic impact of human capital and a variety of public investments. His book, The New Geography of Jobs, is well-written and filled with important facts and wise policy advice. It is an excellent addition to the literature on the economics of place. […] Both local policymakers and national leaders interested in policies with a geographical edge would do well to read the book."
—Edward Glaeser, author of The Triumph of the City


"Decade after decade, smart and educated people flock away from Merced, Calif., Yuma, Ariz., Flint, Mich., and Vineland, N.J. In those places, less than 15 percent of the residents have college degrees. They flock to Washington, Boston, San Jose, Raleigh-Durham and San Francisco. In those places, nearly 50 percent of the residents have college degrees. As Enrico Moretti writes in The New Geography of Jobs, the magnet places have positive ecologies that multiply innovation, creativity and wealth. The abandoned places have negative ecologies and fall further behind. This sorting is self-reinforcing, and it seems to grow more unforgiving every year."
—David Brooks, The New York Times

"The New Geography of Jobs, examines how and why hiring is stronger in some U.S. cities than in others."
—PBS NewsHour


"[A] persuasive look at why some U.S. cities have prospered in recent decades while others have declined."


"In a new book, The New Geography of Jobs, University of California at Berkeley economics professor Enrico Moretti argues that for each job in the software, technology and life-sciences industries, five new jobs are indirectly created in the local economy. The jobs range from yoga instructors to restaurant owners. Mr. Moretti calculated such a multiplier effect by examining U.S. Census Bureau data from eight million workers in 320 areas during the past 30 years. Mr. Moretti says the data support the argument that technology innovators are one of the most important engines of job creation in the U.S.—with three of those five jobs going to people without college degrees."
The Wall Street Journal


"Moretti has written a clear and insightful account of the economic forces that are shaping America and its regions, and he rightly celebrates human capital and innovation as the fundamental sources of economic development."
The New Republic




"Whatever this month unemployment report turns out to be, it's probably not going to be great news for the Rust Belt. Best guesses are manufacturing jobs are still scarce. Meanwhile, new economy places like Silicon Valley continue to thrive. The difference? Location, location, location. So says economist Enrico Moretti in his latest book, The New Geography of Jobs."
NPR MarketPlace


"A bold vision."
—MIT Sloan Management Review


"It is a great and disturbing book about the sweeping changes that are going on in American communities."


"Moretti’s book suggests that for each additional job in the average high-tech firm, five additional jobs are created outside that firm in the local community."
—NPR All Things Considered


"Economist Enrico Moretti finds that earnings of a high school graduate increase 7% for every 10% increase in the percent of people in a city that are college graduates. While having more high-skilled workers around tends to raise everyone's salaries, Moretti's research shows that low-skilled workers benefit four to five times more than college graduates. Even as liberals work to find a way to counteract the problem of the 1 percent, they should view high skilled immigrants as a step toward turning America back into a true middle-class society."
The Atlantic


"Professor Moretti is a visionary scholar and one of the most important new voices in economics."
The Costa Report


"The book is an inviting read. It is dense with ideas, but spiced liberally with local detail"
The Journal of Economic Geography


"[There is] a growing divide among American cities. The winners are metro areas like Raleigh, N.C., San Francisco, and Stamford C.T. where more than 40 percent of the adult residents have college degrees. […] Metro areas like Bakersfield, Calif., Lakeland, Fla., and Youngstown, Ohio, where less than a fifth of the adult residents have college degrees, are being left behind. The divide shows signs of widening as college graduates gravitate to places with many other college graduates and the atmosphere that creates. 'This is one of the most important developments in the recent economic history of this country,' said Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who recently published a book on the topic, The New Geography of Jobs"
The New York Times


"The choice of where you live is the most important choice an American worker can make today."
The Dylan Ratigan Show, MSNBC


"A fresh, provocative analysis of the debate on education and employment. . . A welcome contribution from a newcomer who provides both a different view and balance in addressing one of the country's more profound problems."
Kirkus Reviews


"If there's one current book I'd recommend to leaders in American cities today, it's Enrico Moretti's The New Geography of Jobs."
The Urbanophile


"Enrico Moretti’s, The New Geography of Jobs has been exceptionally well received by many of the economic development literati. Some commentators have described New Geography as the best economic development book of 2013. And if you don’t read New Geography, you would also miss reading the best, most readable explanation and defense of innovation, knowledge-based economics and their effects on the location of jobs in the United States. There is a lot going on in New Geography."
Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development


"An important new book."
The American

"Prof. Moretti's findings are both significant and provocative."
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment  


"The New Geography of Jobs is arguably the most important book about urban economics published this year. Author Enrico Moretti, an Italian-born economics professor at Berkeley, analyzes the great divergence occurring between metropolitan regions in the United States. While much of his narrative about the innovation sector as the key driver in regional growth will be familiar to readers of Richard Florida, Moretti provides a valuable counter-balance to Florida’s theories about the creative class."
Bacon's Rebellion


"The book is excellent, I strongly recommend it."
Forbes (Adam Ozimek) 


"Enrico Moretti's superb book highlights why the study of economic geography is vital for understanding fundamental issues such as the root causes of rising income inequality, innovation, and job growth. For those who are curious about how the United States will continue to thrive in the global 21st century economy, I can think of no better book to read than The New Geography of Jobs."
—Matthew E. Kahn, author of Climatopolis


"Moretti's book is well-written, well-argued, and important. The New Geography of Jobs is the sort of economics that should be widely read, digested, and discussed."
The Digital Quad


"The message of his very well written and prize winning book is important. And Enrico is right that we should pay attention to the geography of where smart people are choosing to work, play, and live their lives. Ultimately, it has consequences for all of us."
The Creativity Post


"If you’re thinking of a career change or new employment, or if job creation is your Number One priority this year, this is a book you’ll want first. You’ll need solid, hard-core information to do it. And for that, The New Geography of Jobs is hard to resist."
Independent News


"Enrico Moretti has written an important book that every student of local economic development should read."
Berkeley Planning Journal


"Wow. . . Without referring to Charles Murray, Moretti blows Coming Apart totally out of the water, replacing Murray's moralistic sociology with solid economics."


"Moretti has done a good deed by sitting down to write. He's clear and concise. He has writer's knack for pulling out the illustrative detail while never losing the broad sweep of events. It i...

About the Author

Enrico Moretti is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among other publications.

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Customer Reviews

It is very well written.
estrid h gamonal
Because of the mentioned job multiplier, innovation workers do create jobs for local workers at all skill levels.
Gaetan Lion
A treat of a book which I read it in one sitting.
Reg Nordman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on May 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Enrico Moretti uncovered that for each additional job in manufacturing 1.6 jobs are created in local jobs ranging from barbers, waiters, to doctors and lawyers. But, for the innovation sector, the job multiplier is 5. Moretti explores the implications of those job multipliers for the prospect of cities. By doing so, he dismantles Timothy Noah's The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It

Moretti observes secular changes in the American workforce. 150 years ago, 50% of the labor force was engaged in agriculture vs less than 1% today. Yet, the agriculture output is far greater now. US manufacturing is undergoing the same process. US manufacturing output is as large as China's (pg. 36) and has doubled since 1970. Yet, the US manufacturing labor force is smaller than in 1970. Just as agriculture, manufacturing has become more productive and less labor intensive.

Job growth is in good part generated by the innovation sector (Internet, software, scientific R&D, pharmaceuticals). The innovation sector employs 10% of the labor force. But, it has a huge influence on overall job growth. When an extra scientist is hired in a city, over time it creates 5 additional local jobs outside the innovation sector; 2 of them are professional (doctors, lawyers, teachers) and 3 of them are low skilled (waiters, clerks). This is because innovation sector workers are highly paid and have discretionary income to spend on local services. It is also because such workers increase the capacity of the firms they join, and the latter have a demand for local services (graphic designers, advertisers).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Happy2015 on June 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The American economy has been transitioning from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy. While this country has stopped making several types of goods that have become commodities they're cheaper to manufacture in countries where unskilled laborers' wages are lower than those prevalent here, it has the current lead in the origination of patents and the production of goods and services for the knowledge- and idea-based industries such as entertainment, software, and pharmaceuticals.

As a result of this transitioning, job seekers who are better educated are expected to have more opportunities available to them than those who are less educated. According to the book's author, however, because those opportunities currently tend to be clustered in a limited number of cities only, America's transitioning from old (industrial) to new (knowledge-based) economy is dividing the country into three opportunity zones: the few cities that are at the forefront of the new economy are currently and likely to continue thriving for years to come, those that have been devastated by the old economy are in danger of becoming ghost towns if they're not able to reverse their fortunes, and those currently not on either end of the opportunity spectrum have to work harder to lift their economy to the next level up.

According to the author's as well as other economists' research, a new economy-type job usually pays better than a manufacturing job, and the creation of a new economy-type job tends to produce other jobs that are high-paying (e.g., doctors) as well as lower-paying (e.g., waiters/waitresses). Cities that can build on their comparative advantage in select business sectors to create new economy-type jobs can obtain good payoffs for their investments.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on May 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The New Geography of Jobs" by Enrico Moretti offers an insightful perspective on the American economy. Presenting original research and analysis, Mr. Moretti explains why individual worker's fortunes have diverged somce the 1980s and recommends how we might lift up those who have been left behind. Mr. Moretti's timely and persuasive book is sure to appeal to economists, policy makers and general interest readers alike.

Mr. Moretti defines the 'innovation industries' as companies that depend on human ingenuity auch as software, pharmaceuticals and motion pictures. Although the end product may be costly to develop, once the first copy has been made it can be replicated inexpensively; thus generating enormous profits. In an argument not unlike the one found in Robert Reich's classic The Work of Nations, Mr. Moretti contends that the people and support infrastructures that surround innovation industries amount to a kind of 'non-tradable' industrial zone in the sense that these communities can not be easily moved or replicated elsewhere. Consequently, those metropolitan areas that can attract the kind of human capital capable of producing innovative and marketable ideas will prosper; while others that are dependent on more easily-replicable manufacturing industries will inevitably see their standards of living decline.

Throughout the book, Mr. Moretti does an excellent job of illustrating key concepts through case studies. For example, Mr.
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