When I was in St. Louis this past weekend, it seemed as if most of the wealth in the area was concentrated in Clayton. I kept asking my father what all those office buildings held. "Lawyers" was the first thing out of his mouth. There also are real estate companies. Some corporate headquarters. I'm not sure how to describe the Clayton economy. An exporter of legal services and real estate management services? A city with a much larger share of wealth than GDP?
My sense is that Nordhaus' project is more difficult than it looks.