Friday, January 27, 2012

Economic Geography

Today Paul Krugman's column presents a view of the recent Times piece on Apple and outsourced jobs consistent with his earlier work on economic geography that helped win him the Nobel prize. I'd summarize the argument as having to do with physical capital: in addition to quantity and quality, the location of plants and infrastructure can also be important. Less clear to me (but maybe it's in his work somewhere) is what role human capital plays in all of this. Harvard's Ed Glaeser has written extensively about that sort of thing, but I think his emphasis is less on manufacturing than on the idea economy.