Why talent matters

In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, the skills and talent of the local population may be the single most important factor influencing urban economic success.  We know that the returns to education have increased for individuals.  The college earnings premium–the amount the average college graduate earns compared to the typical high school graduate–has more than doubled in the past several decades.  What is true for individuals is also true for cities–places with better educated populations have higher levels of personal income.

At Impresa, our work has focused on the distribution of talent among metropolitan areas, and given the mobility of well-educated workers, especially young adults, their patterns of migration among different cities.