Sources of Local Growth

It's the end of the year, and time for reflection. I'll keep most of my reflecting to myself, but I'll post these comments on some recent news coverage:

What's the largest and most successful economic institution in Western Pennsylvania? UPMC. The P-G has run an interesting series telling some of the story behind its rise. Part I; Part II; Part III. Like it or not, the core of Pittsburgh's economy isn't steel, and it isn't manufacturing. It's health care. If Pittsburgh plays its cards right, that can be a good thing over the long haul.

Meanwhile, a local accountant sings the praises of foreign investment in Pittsburgh. It would be easy to nitpick around the edges of his argument, but I won't. His central theme is that small manufacturing and foreign investment continue to play a role in the local economy, and he's right about that. It's important not to oversell the point, though, and it's important to recognize that neither foreign investment (especially European investment, which is his focus) nor manufacturing are likely sources of long-term growth.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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