Conventional wisdom holds that job growth attracts people to urban areas. But when it comes to economic development in American cities, the trusted old theory "If you build it, they will come" may not work, argues a Michigan State University (MSU) sociologist in a new study.
MSU's Zachary Neal found that in order to attract job seekers to your city, you have to attract influential and employed people first. The key group seems to be airline passengers traveling for business purposes.
"The findings indicate that business people come first, then the jobs," said Neal, assistant professor of sociology. "It's just the opposite of an 'If you build it, they will come' sort of an approach."