A rising young economist at Berkeley argues that where you live will soon determine how successful you are—and tells us what that means for the country.
As the global economy shifted from agriculture to manufacturing to innovation, the world was supposed to become more flat. Geography was supposed to matter less. But the pundits were wrong. A new map is being drawn and it's not about red vs. blue or rich vs. poor. The rise of the hubs is causing huge geographic disparities in education, wealth, life expectancy, and political engagement. Dealing with this split—encouraging growth in the hubs while arresting the decline elsewhere—will be the challenge of the century.
Enrico Moretti is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among other publications.