Research

Innovation, Skill, and Economic Segregation

Our research examines the role of innovation and skill on the level economic segregation across U.S. metro areas. On the one hand, economic and urban theory suggest that more innovative and skilled metros are likely to have higher levels of economic segregation. But on the other hand, theory also suggests that more segregated metros are likely to become less innovative over time. We examine the connection between innovation and economic segregation this via OLS regressions informed by a Principal Component Analysis to distill key variables related to innovation, knowledge and skills, while controlling for other key variables notably population size. Our findings are mixed. While we find evidence of an association between the level of innovation and skill and the level of economic segregation in 2010, we find little evidence of an association between the level of innovation and skill across metros and the growth of economic segregation between 2000 and 2010.

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