Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Chicago MSA should look just like Sweden in terms of economic and social outcomes in theory. Why doesn't it in practice?

The WSJ has a nice chart ranking countries Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and inserting the Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) for various regions in the US.  In other words, they are comparing a whole countries value of their production to the value of production for specific geographic regions in the US.

For instance, the GMP for the Metropolitan Statistical Area ("MSA") for Chicago and its environs (Joliet, Naperville, Il-In-WI)  in 2012 was $571,000,000,000.

The Gross Domestic Product for Sweden in 2012 was $525,700,000,000.  

Pretty close to each other in output value. I wondered how this worked out on a per capita (per person) basis.

The population in the Chicago MSA was 9,522,434 in 2012
The population of Sweden was 9,577,000 in 2012. (Wow! Almost identical populations)

The Gross Metropolitan Product PER PERSON the Chicago MSA was $57,695
The Gross Domestic Product PER PERSON in Sweden was $54,892

The dollar value of output per person is actually HIGHER in the Chicago MSA.

BOTH get lots of snow in the winter. Both have pretty good hockey teams.

But that is where most of the similarities end when it comes to the way people think about the two places, especially in terms of social outcomes.

Why would that be?
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