Author Archive

Derek Thompson


American Housing Is Insane

COMMENTARY | Approximately half of the Manhattan luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold.


Three Theories for Why You Have No Time

COMMENTARY | Better technology means higher expectations, and higher expectations create more work.


Why the 21st-Century Economy Prizes Overwork

The digital age has liberated the tools of productivity from the office, and chained workers to their computers.


The American System of Tipping Makes No Sense

COMMENTARY | If you want to understand how meritocracy acts as a cover for inequality, look no further than our broken understanding of gratuity.

Tech & Data

The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive

COMMENTARY | As WeWork crashes and Uber bleeds cash, the consumer-tech gold rush may be coming to an end.


Why Are America’s Three Biggest Metros Shrinking?

After a post-recession boomlet, the New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago areas are all seeing their population decline.


Workism Is Making Americans Miserable

For the college-educated elite, work has morphed into a religious identity—promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver.

Smart Cities

Why Flying Cars Are an Impossible Dream

The air taxi is the Godot of technology: always on its way, never here.


A Different Kind of Housing Crisis

ANALYSIS | Many of the Trump administration’s most famous policies are impediments to affordable construction.


What’s Really Happening to Retail?

Manhattan’s shuttered storefronts tell a larger American story: Only Amazon-proof businesses can now survive in brick and mortar.

Featured eBooks


Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America

Corporate goliaths are taking over the U.S. economy. Yet small breweries are thriving. Why?

Public Safety

Mass Shootings in America Are Spreading Like a Disease

If it seems like the shootings are becoming more frequent, it might be because mass murder can catch on like an epidemic.


Why Nerds and Nurses Are Taking Over the U.S. Economy

A blockbuster report from government economists forecasts the workforce of 2026—a world of robot cashiers, well-paid math nerds, and so (so, so, so) many healthcare workers.

Smart Cities

Why So Many Americans Are Saying Goodbye to Cities

What’s happening to New York City is a microcosm of what’s happening around the country—the hollowing out of the U.S. city.


The Feedback Loop That Will Make America's Richest Cities Even Richer

Certain multisyllabic phrases—geographic sorting, economic agglomeration, cumulative advantage—are all fancy ways of saying smart young people move toward jobs and density.


The Richest Cities for Young People: 1980 vs. Today

Five of the ten richest cities for young Boomers have since seen median wages for young people fall by at least 15 percent.


The Miracle of Minneapolis

No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well. What’s its secret?


Where to Move If You Want a Job, More Money, or Lots of Single People

Digging through the new Census tool on which large cities are the nation's leaders in singles, earnings, and unemployment for younger Americans.


Why It's So Hard for Millennials to Find a Place to Live and Work

The paradox of the American Dream: The best cities to get ahead are often the most expensive places to live, and the most affordable places to live can be the worst cities to get ahead.