Laxity of Land-Use Regulations
Back in June I attended an Institute for Humane Studies seminar for graduate students where Jason Sorens, among others, lectured. Sorens, a professor at University of Buffalo, SUNY, has an interesting post on the interplay between land-use regulations and economic growth. Looking at the top ten states with increased economic growth between 2000-2007 (Wyoming, Nevada, Florida, South Dakota, Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Louisiana), he found that all ten realized slow growth in housing prices during the recent bubble. Moreover, the laxity of land-use regulations as a key facet to these states’ increases in economic growth leads Sorens to reason that:
…[T]he big story of growth in those states that have experienced it in the last decade: lack of land-use regulation –> slow growth in cost of living –> more in-migration –> more income growth. Highly regulated states like California (-0.4% annual growth), Oregon (0.1%), Massachusetts (0.1%), and New Jersey (0.3%) could learn something. If we are entering a “great stagnation,” we may have to squeeze increases in living standards out of lower prices rather than innovation for a while.
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