Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More on churn and stability at the top

Matt Ridley praises Taleb's Antifragile in today's WSJ.

What about cities?  I have mentioned before that churn is great, but when it comes to cities, there is less churn towards the top of the rankings.  Paradoxically, this does not mean that these places are static.  To the contrary, it means that they have the means to adapt and remain competitive.  I should have said that they have means to be antifragile.

Whereas I referred to city size (actually metro size) rankings, there is also stability at the top when one looks at metro GDP rankings. Look at this at Urban Demographics.

Call it flexibility, adaptability, or (from now on) antifragility.  We even get it in our world of second best.  Note that New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have remained one-two-three not because they are well run by a central city leadership but, quite the opposite, because they benefit from extensive hinterlands.  For the largest U.S. metro areas, just 26 percent of the population is in the historic core.  We know that competition is great.  We can now add that it gives us antifragility.  "Fragmentation," lamented by many, is not so bad.