Jason Scharf


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Tyler Cowen AMA

One of the consequences of the pandemic is a dispersion of talent and capital away from of the traditional regional economic engines.  Steve Case documented that change in his Rise of the Rest book and you spoke on Joe Londsdale's American Optimist podcast on how Austin maybe one of big beneficiaries of this change. 

To see if this is leading to a change in regional innovation we have to be able to measure it, but as I see it the traditional measures have some large flaws. 

The primary challenge is that innovation is created locally and disturbed globally. We may create an amazing invention here and its effects are felt all over the world. Most regional metrics are either inputs thought to correlate with innovation (patent volume, research papers produced, VC funding, unicorns birthed, size of specific talent pools, and so on) or broad scale economic outputs (GDP, employment growth, etc.)

Better metrics like total factor productivity are not really measured or measurable at the regional level as far as I know again due to this regional creation/global distribution tension. 

How do you think we should approach this measurement challenge?

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

What is the role of geography and place in the future of progress? 

There was the recent paper on "Why Britain? The Right Place (in the Technology Space) at the Right Time" looking at why Britain gained economic leadership during the Industrial Revolution. We have seen the agglomeration effects on innovation regions with Detroit in the 40's and 50's and Silicon Valley in the 1990s-2010s. 

On the other hand we are seeing remote work and considerably high demand for it. Recent data on LinkedIn had 14% of jobs being listed as remote, but garnering 52% of the applications. IP commercialization is not limited to where it was developed.