Misinformation & Disinformation

Bloomberg “brain drain” assessment incorrect

Economists in Kalamazoo reject the notion highlighted in an article yesterday that the Kalamazoo region suffers from a loss of educated residents.

Bloomberg got it wrong. That’s the assessment of economists at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

An article published Wednesday highlighted Kalamazoo’s role as a center for vaccine distribution and its effect on the purported “brain drain” being experienced in the area.

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“Brain drain” refers to the number of well-educated – and therefore high earning – people living in the area who are leaving to find work elsewhere.

Michael Horrigan, the president of the W.E. Upjohn Institute, said that Bloomberg quite simply got its data wrong.

“They were comparing apples and oranges,” he said in an interview with WOOD TV 8.

The discrepancy comes from changes to the way the Kalamazoo-Portage Metropolitan Statistical Area is defined.

“When they did those comparisons, they were using the America Community Survey – which is a great survey. But the American Community Survey made a fundamental change following some federal guidelines between 2015 and 2019,” he said.

Specifically, in 2019 it stopped including Van Buren County as part of the area. Bloomberg failed to take that into account when it made its assessment.

“I do not think Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Portage MSA, would be anywhere on that list in terms of the cities with the greatest brain drain,” Horrigan said.

You can read the full story here.

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