Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How will Atlanta recover?

Via Rusty comes a NYT blog post about Atlanta and the potential for future growth.  I've written before about the stagnant state of our economy, and complained about the lack of vision from our political and business leaders.  What does Harvard economist Edward Glaesar have to say?

Yet there are three key reasons to think that Atlanta will weather this storm and continue to thrive.
First, Atlanta benefits from the fact that it is the dominant agglomeration in the region. The continuing vitality of large cities is a remarkable feature of our age and Atlanta benefits from that fact.
Atlanta also benefits from its business-friendly politics, which will continue to attract plenty of companies.
Finally, Atlanta also benefits from being highly skilled — something that outsiders too often forget.
Nearly 43 percent of adults in the city of Atlanta have college degrees, as opposed to 27 percent in the nation as a whole, and 41 percent in Boston. The figure is even higher in surrounding Fulton County.
Skills have long led to urban success, especially when mixed with large urban size.
Smart money never bets against the ability of a huge concentration of smart people to weather an economic storm. Don’t count Atlanta out.
Fairly encouraging, I'd say.  It also relates to some stuff I've read recently about the relationship between an area's college population and economic prosperity.
Nearly 60% of a city's success, as measured by per capita income, is explained by the percentage of college graduates in a city's population. An increase in college attainment rates by one percentage point in the largest 51 metro areas yields $124 billion in additional personal income each year for the nation. 


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