So here’s another gap that bears examination: the city productivity gap. Labor productivity matters because productivity influences living standards. So while the pundits are right to debate the facts and causes of slowing productivity growth at the national level, they would do well also to explore the local dimension of the problem. After all, while many of the proposed causes of malaise—less competition in industries and fewer technological breakthroughs among others—remain national, many of them may be distinctly local.
Which is why we recently took a look at the limited accessible data and roughed out a preliminary analysis of city-by-city labor productivity—the amount of goods and services produced per worker.