A breakthrough study by Enrico Moretti is named the best economic book in 2012

A breakthrough study by Enrico Moretti is named the best economic book in 2012

Forbes magazine called it easily the most important read of 2012 and extremely necessary for politicians and commentators alike, because of its capacity to artfully slay myriad myths that cloud the economic debate

The findings of an Italian young and talented scholar Enrico Moretti are catalyzing discussions in academic circles, after the publication of his latest analysis book "The New Geography of Jobs". The study has attracted economists' attention after Forbes magazine called it "easily the most important read of 2012" and "extremely necessary for politicians and commentators alike", because of its capacity to artfully slay myriad myths that cloud the economic debate.

The book examines job trends in metropolitan areas of the United States and shows that Americans with high school degrees who work in communities dominated by innovative industries (identified by Prof. Moretti as "brain hubs") actually earn more than the college graduates working in communities dominated by manufacturing industries.

Prof. Moretti clarifies also the rationale behind such trends, identifying three main reasons to explain the creation of Brain hubs. The first is related to the thick labor market effect; the second to the high specialization of providers of intermediate services; the third to what economists call human capital spillovers.

As James Pressley from Bloomberg Businessweek points out, the book offers persuasive look at why some U.S. cities have prospered in recent decades while others have declined: by doing so, it demonstrates how essential it is for individuals to be highly mobile in pursuit of the best employment opportunities. The lessons of the book can be easily applied outside the U.S., as the author establishes a parallelism between what has happened there and what is happening elsewhere: according to Prof. Moretti, "the best news of the last 20 years globally is the vast increase in the standard of living in places like China and India and Brazil", but with a closer look "you see the same great divergence that you see" in the Western world.

Prof. Moretti graduated from Bocconi University in Milan and is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He also collaborates with the London School of Economics and Oxford, Cambridge and Bonn Universites. His main research interests include Labor Economics, Urban Economics and Applied Econometrics.

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Claudia Astarita

Amo l'Asia in (quasi) tutte le sue sfaccettature, ecco perché cerco di trascorrerci più tempo possibile. Dopo aver lavorato per anni come ricercatrice a New Delhi e Hong Kong, per qualche anno osserverò l'Oriente dalla quella che è considerata essere la città più vivibile del mondo: Melbourne. Insegno Culture and Business Practice in Asia ad RMIT University,  Asia and the World a The University of Melbourne e mi occupo di India per il Centro Militare di Studi Strategici di Roma. Su Twitter mi trovate a @castaritaHK, via email a astarita@graduate.hku.hk

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