Economics

Essential Pittsburgh
5:16 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Pittsburgh and Detroit: A Tale of Two Cities

Did the federal government's bailouts of the auto industry worsen the city's predicament?
Credit Dave Rezendes/Flickr

Since the beginning of the great recession, Pittsburgh has often been touted as a shining symbol of economic recovery in the rust belt, while Detroit has become the poster-child of nearly apocalyptic economic strife. So what has allowed the Steel City to thrive while the Motor City has stalled? According to Antony Davies, an Associate Professor of Economics at Duquesne University, the answer lies in the two city’s differing approaches to the collapse of their largest industries.

He notes that while Pittsburgh weathered the painful collapse of the steel industry without support, “when Detroit fell on hard times, it turned to the federal government.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Don't Count The Big D Out Yet!

Despite all the gloom and doom talk, there are still signs of life in Detroit.
Credit Kate Sumbler/Flickr

While the recent media cycle on Detroit’s bankruptcy often reads like a eulogy to one of America’s great industrial boomtowns, Richard C. Harwood, who heads the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, sees signs of life. Harwood points to a number of positive signs in the city, including companies moving downtown, building renovations and venture capital funds being formed.

All of these improvements “are pockets of change that suggest that a new path forward can emerge.”

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