Want to Avoid Detroit's Fate? Diversify Your Economy

"Nearly all the rich world’s industrial cities fell on hard times between 1950 and 1980," says The Economist. Why did some recover while others failed? A new paper argues that skilled workers and a diverse economy are key to overcoming adversity.

"The Motor City is an extreme example of a decline that has beset industrial cities across America’s Midwest and northern Europe," notes The Economist. "Nearly all the rich world’s industrial cities fell on hard times between 1950 and 1980, but some, including Boston, New York and London, rebounded soon after. Hardscrabble places like Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Liverpool have also enjoyed revivals."

"In a new paper [PDF] Gilles Duranton of the University of Pennsylvania and Diego Puga of the Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies in Madrid suggest that a pool of skilled workers and a diverse economy are among the best predictors of long-run success. Such characteristics offer cities the best hope of stumbling on new sources of increasing returns to scale."

Full Story: Down towns

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00