Did Manufacturing Job Losses Hold the Midwest Back?

There is a strain of thought among some policy experts that manufacturing, especially in the Midwest, is a dead-end for regional economic development. In a series of recent Brookings reports, my co-authors and I have challenged that view. The conventional wisdom won’t die easily, though. The most recent defense of the conventional view comes from Richard Florida, who claims that a heavy reliance on manufacturing has held back economic growth in Midwest metropolitan areas.

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