Cities are Engines of Growth...the problem is that many of them are too expensive to live in, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

May 6, 2012

"The basic driver of remarkable economic growth in China -- and India, Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil and pretty much every other developing country -- is pretty simple: migration of people from rural areas, where they're not very productive, to dense cities, where they are very productive. This is a tried-and-true strategy for making people and countries richer. But it's not just for developing countries.

Over the past year, three terrific books have come out on the importance of cities in America's economy. In "Triumph of the City," Harvard economist Ed Glaeser details how cities all over the world have supercharged human development and ingenuity. In "The Gated City," Ryan Avent focuses more narrowly on the role cities play in making Americans better off. And in "The Rent Is Too Damn High," Matt Yglesias focuses on, well, why the rent is so damn high."

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