Smart Growth:

Education, Skilled Workers, and the Future of Cold-Weather Cities

April 27, 2005
Edward Glaeser (Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University)

This brief is based on "The Rise of the Skilled City," a paper by Glaeser and the University of Pennsylvania’s Albert Saiz that appeared in the Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs: 5 (2004) and was first published at the Sustaining Boston's Economic Renaissance Conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on April 27, 2005.

The residents of faster-growing cities are better educated than their counterparts in struggling urban areas. The benefits of education are even stronger for entire regions. Education, moreover, is particularly important for cities and regions that have cold winters. This finding suggests that strategies that increase the level of local human capital are likely to produce economic growth. Attracting growing numbers of high-skilled workers requires that government provide high-quality public schools, safe streets and neighborhoods, and reasonably priced housing in cost-effective and equitable ways.