Double a city’s population and its economic productivity goes up 130 %. Why?

From experience to meaning...

We live in times that more and more people live in cities. Although there are certainly some challenges that come along with this trend, there is also a clear advantage. Double a city’s population and its economic productivity goes up 130 percent. MIT researchers think they know why.

From the press release:

The new paper builds on previous work by the same group, which showed that increasing employees’ opportunities for face-to-face interaction could boost corporations’ productivity.

In those studies, the researchers outfitted employees of a bank, of an IT consulting firm, and of several other organizations with tiny transmitters, developed by the Human Dynamics Lab, that actively measured the time the wearers spent in each other’s presence. Obviously, that approach wouldn’t work in a study of the entire populations of hundreds of cities.

So Wei Pan, a PhD student and first author on the new paper, looked at a host…

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