Edward Glaeser Photo

Edward Glaeser

Appointment
Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, FAS
617-496-2150
Lawrence H. Summers Photo

Lawrence H. Summers

Appointment
Charles W. Eliot University Professor
Director, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government
Office Address
79 John F. Kennedy St. Littauer Bldg 242
617-495-9322
Austin, Benjamin, Edward Glaeser, and Lawrence Summers. "Saving the Heartland: Place-Based Policies in 21st Century America." Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (Spring 2018).

Abstract

America’s regional disparities are large and regional convergence has declined if not disappeared. This wildly uneven economic landscape calls for a new look at spatially targeted policies. There are three plausible justifications for place-based policies–agglomeration economies, spatial equity and larger marginal returns to targeting social distress in high distress areas. The second justification is stronger than the first and the third justification is stronger than the second. The enormous social costs of non-employment suggests that fighting long-term joblessness is more important than fighting income inequality. Stronger tools, such as spatially targeted employment credits, may be needed in West Virginia than in San Francisco.