Raj Chetty's equality of opportunity project.

Forbes contributor John Wasik peels back the layers of insight of a provocative, potentially instructive--for land acquisition strategists--study of rockstar Harvard and Stanford economist Raj Chetty, whose work on economic mobility is making headlines and soundbites.

Wasik focuses on two parts of Chetty's newest analysis: which cities are above the rest in cultivating economic opportunity for residents--Dubuque, Ia., San Jose, and Washington, DC, and which do not; and why. On the latter, Wasik writes:

I would put education at the top of the list. How many people in an area have college or graduate degrees? How is the job growth or unemployment relative to the state or country? How do the high schools rate? How many new businesses are being created? How long does the average person spend commuting? How well are teachers paid (hint: better, well-compensated teachers make a difference)?

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