Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Smart People Attract Smart People (and Money)

This article is fascinating:

A great paradox of our age is that despite the declining cost of connecting across space, more people are clustering together in cities. The explanation of that strange fact is that globalization and technological change have increased the returns on being smart, and humans get smart by being around other smart people.

Dense, smart cities like Seattle succeed by attracting smart people who educate and employ one another.

A person’s earnings rise by more than 7 percent as the share of people in his or her metropolitan area with a college degree increases by 10 percent, holding that person’s own level of education constant. Educated neighbors are particularly valuable in dense cities, where contact is more common.

Skilled people have often chosen to come to already educated cities, and the share of Seattle adults with college degrees has risen to 56 percent from an already high 47 percent in 2000.

19 comments:

Cecily said...

This makes sense to me. It seems like the same root cause of the Education Gap at the Bottom. All of the wealthy people live together which means that their schools are more wealthy which only causes more wealthy families to seek out residence in these districts. Such a vicious cycle.

Maggie said...

This article was very interesting. Seattle indeed attracts wealthy people to live there due to good living conditions and children get to go to schools were education is taken seriously.

taryn said...

Everything said in this article rang a bell. Test scores and such are higher in bigger cities because they have the money to put into it. Big cities attract "smart" people and they also produce "smart" people as well.

Max said...
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Max said...

There is a very well respected sociologist named Richard Florida that has spent years researching this concept. It ties in well with The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman, because it shows the power of ideas and how they transform cities.I think everyone benefits when we hang out with people that are "smarter" than ourselves.

Kristie said...

You do get smarter by associating with other smart people or those smarter than you. Besides, I think that is where your comfort level is. That is one reason we have gated communities and country clubs.

Diana.Blizzard said...

I can totally see how Seattle succeeded. Smart people started a business and because they are smart they employ other smart people who are are their smartness with one another. It really pays off to be smart. :-)

thats.me. said...
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freakomania10 said...

I also agree that smart people attract smart people, but I have to say its not always comfortable for people to be around those who are smarter or as smart. It makes us feel threatened, and unnecessary and maybe for some people this is a bad thing, but for people like myself, it only motivates us to work harder for fear of being embarassed or outdone. Soo I think that smart people create smarter people. I really enjoyed this article.

Dave M. said...

This is a good article. I was first captured by the 7 and 10 percent increase in earnings but reading further in the article I saw where the average productivity of Seattle workers is 37% higher than workers in other urban areas. That is amazing! It’s nice to be smart to the smart…

Gaganjit Khinda said...

Now we know why seattle is so successful because its filled with smart people and with people who actually go to college. I think we need to have more passionate and curious kids here in Yakima to make this valley successful and filled with educated people.

Swayze said...

I fully agree with this article. If you look at Seattle area there are many high technical positions ranging from companies like Boeing to Microsoft gathered together in a relatively small area where wealthy and smart people gather.

D_ana said...

I totally agree with all this. Which is why we should take Mr. Peters advice and have more smart people stay in the Yakima Valley, then maybe we will attract other smart people.

Trey said...

This was a great article and it makes perfect sence. Like you said in class, educated people are going to have more educated things to talk about.

lily said...

^^In reference to D_ana, how do we do that? Someone really needs to put some thought into how to get smart people to want to come to Yakima and STAY in Yakima. It can only benefit us, right? So why are we cutting school budgets? Smart people aren't going to put their soon-to-be smart kids in bad schools. I would love to see Yakima pull out of this, but like Steve Jobs said, "if we are sitting around watching Rome burn, it's hard to be an optimist". I don't plan on sticking around if Yakima is put under fire. sorry.

Carmen E Johnson said...

It makes sense that smart people attract smart people. If you cant carry a conversation with someone on your level then what's the use when it comes to looking for a mate. A persons looks can only last for so long.

Chandler said...

The reason people are moving more towards the cost lines is that there are more job oppurtunities. Also, technology and information is more readily available.

Michael said...

The idea that good public transportation has helped bolster the overall economy in Seattle would fit perfectly with what I had in my paper. This is a great example of how transportation both attracts quality job seekers and makes it more efficient for them to travel to work.

Tanner said...

Very interesting article i didn't realize the population of Seattle was growing that fast. Lately all I've been hearing from my friends is I'm going to move to Seattle. Now I see why.