Arnold Kling  

Localized GDP

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William Nordhaus has G-econ


The basic metric is the regional equivalent of gross domestic product. Gross cell product (GCP) is measured at a 1-degree longitude by 1-degree latitude resolution at a global scale.

Richard Florida offers the pointer. As he points, out, the graphic is awesome.

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.


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COMMENTS (3 to date)
Ironman writes:

Clayton is the county seat of St. Louis County where the bulk of the area's population lives. It's centrally located for the region, has good transportation access and most importantly, is outside of the City of St. Louis, and therefore, outside the reach of that city's income tax.

Remember, lawyers are always and everywhere the first group of people who vote with their feet.

Dr. T writes:

Nordhaus should have talked with a cartographer first. The surface areas enclosed by 1 degree latitudinal and 1 degree longitudinal borders get smaller as one moves further from the equator. Why didn't he just divide the world's populated surface area into 100,000 or so equal-area blocks?

fundamentalist writes:

Interesting, but somewhat flawed. I read the methodology paper and found that no attempt was made to correct GDP for cost of living. In the US especially, such a correction would show much less inequality between regions.

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