In "Dems' dissatisfaction runs high," MSN Money quotes Dr. Bryce Ward, ECONorthwest senior economist, in a commentary about unemployment, economic growth, and entrepreneurship.
In the article, Dr. Ward speaks to a "chicken and egg" problem in the public policy of regional growth. Namely, should regions should try to attract industry or talented workers in order to drive economic growth?
"People first or jobs first? It's one of the great debates in regional economics," says Dr. Ward in MSN Money.
In the article, Dr. Ward also addresses the "slacker theory" or the idea that 20- and 30-somethings in Portland are attracted to the low cost of living and high quality of life, but are not entrepreneurs or the next Phil Knight, who founded Nike in Portland in the 1970s. The article reads:
Even if the slacker theory were true, it wouldn't be a bad thing, said economist Ward. "Only if their coming here drives out other people."
[...] Creative types, particularly college graduates, tend to demand attractive amenities that increase lifestyle value, even if they aren't launching the next big thing, Ward said. Their presence alone tends to stimulate creativity and business activity among noncollege graduates. Since World War II, the success of a region has always been tied to its number of college graduates, Ward said, a phenomenon that's critical as economies evolve.
"Having a lot of smart people living there in close proximity to each other means that you'll figure something out," he said.
The rest of the article is available from MSN Money here.
Bryce Ward holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and specializes in natural resource and labor economics. Bryce has has taught courses in Labor Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Public Finance, Econometrics, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, and Social Economics at Harvard College, Lewis and Clark College, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon.