Why Income Disparity in the City is Not a Bad Thing

Originally published in The Boston Globe

March 24, 2012
Edward Glaeser (Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University)

There is a deep economic division in Boston, just as there is in the country as a whole. Last week, the Boston Foundation released its annual Boston Indicators Report, which correctly reminds us that "the current configuration of the innovation economy is not working well for everyone, and, indeed, reinforces historic divides." From 2006 to 2010, 15 percent of Boston families earned over $150,000 annually, while 28 percent of Boston's children lived in poverty.
But while the inequality within a city can reflect the inequality of the nation, the two issues are fundamentally different. And in Boston's case, inequality is as much a sign of urban strength as urban weakness. More >(Need subscription to search archives)