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The Forum > Article Comments > The skilled city > Comments

The skilled city : Comments

By Andrew Leigh, published 10/12/2010

In skilled cities, size matters. Double the size of a skilled city, and wages rise by about 10 per cent.

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The very notions of a skilled city and a city twice as big as it now is are in direct conflict!

Getting much bigger is just stupid! Wed need to exercise great skill to manage twice as many people, twice as much urban and industrial sprawl, twice as much infrastructure, etc, etc. Wed need all our skills to be sharpened just make sure that we broke even and didnt suffer big quality-of-life losses!

Ok, so maybe wages would increase a bit with a massive expansion of our cities, all else being equal. But so would costs. In fact, there can be little doubt that in cities that already have stressed infrastructure and stressed people, the costs would be considerably greater.

Skills and sensibly-sized cities go together.
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 10 December 2010 8:56:46 AM
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There are a lot of variables to come into energy consumption such as climate. Not knowing detail about US cities, eg density, makes it hard to comment on the Glesner study with respect to energy. Here in Melbourne we have a new premier Ted Baillieu, a Big Melbourne fanatic, who proposes to restrict the high rise developments along transport corridors in favour of taking over farm land for developments with no public transport. Common sense would indicate that the extra people will raise the energy consumption per capita, especially taking into account the embedded energy in setting up the outer urban developments.
Glesner may be correct that larger cities with a higher proportion of skilled have higher average wages. A natural correlation with the fact that a higher skilled person commands a higher wage. What would be interesting would be whether a lowly skilled worker is better off in a lerge city?
Outrider
Posted by Outrider, Friday, 10 December 2010 7:55:14 PM
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Double the size of the city, and the local market doubles in size. Maybe that helps local economies?

At the end of the article the author wants more money spent on education in Australia, and I really don't think this is a good idea at all, unless proper reforms take place within the education system.

More money has been spent on education over time, to produce worse outcomes and lower student marks, and a look through a school or university now shows almost nothing purchased locally, and almost everything imported.

So increasing money spent on education does nothing for local economies, and in fact it can just increase the overall trade deficit.
Posted by vanna, Sunday, 12 December 2010 7:55:14 AM
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Andrew Leigh is a stock standard academic who tries to sound original with ideas which everyone knows as common knowledge. The skilled city is as utopian as multiculturalism, equality, religious tolerance etc etc. What these educated past their comprehension types don't grasp is the fact that their expensive idealism funded by hardworking taxpayers is merely creating societies such as we have. I have now listened for fifty years to election slogans of "better education" & where did it get us ? Exactly where we're now. Throwing more money at education does not make a smarter society. Totally the opposite occurs as we, the not so educated can clearly see. Education has not made the leaps & bounds every election promise allured to. When one really looks closely, as a society we're now far, far less intelligent & competent than our grand parents. Of course technology has made absolutely fantastic progress but people have not kept pace. There are only a handful of really intelligent people who make this incredible progress possible & not the ones who happened to use this technology. Education as we have seen it in the past four decades is progressively regressing. Just look around your society, take off the rose-coloured glasses. Let those highly educated create their own economy rather than maggot off the taxpayer & let's see how far they'll get with their "education". If we had a system of value for money rather than squandering taxpayers' money then 90% of those educated would need to go begging to feed themselves based on their usefulness to society. How many teachers could remain in their positions if educating were merit based ?
Posted by individual, Sunday, 12 December 2010 12:16:55 PM
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