Monday, August 22, 2016

The Curley Effect...

...restrictive land use laws make states more liberal.

//But California’s failure to curb its overweening land use regulations migh also have another, less obvious, consequence: It could make the state even more homogeneously Democratic than it already is. According to a recent study from Jason Sorens of Dartmouth University (h/t Tyler Cowen), states’ land use regulations don’t just affect their economies; they affect their political complexions as well. In particular, Republicans seem to leave states as they tighten their zoning laws:
High cost of living deters in-migration of lower-income households, especially those that do not highly value amenities. Holding median household income constant, higher-cost locations will tend over time to attract and keep households that highly value amenities. It is hypothesized that these households will be more Democratic. Accordingly, raising residential building requirements in high-amenity areas should cause those areas to move gradually to the left.

In other words, Democrats, on balance, seem to be willing to pay a higher premium to live in heavily zoned communities, while Republicans would rather live somewhere with fewer amenities at lower cost. Sorens doesn’t determine why this is, but it’s possible to speculate: Perhaps Republicans are more likely to homeschool and therefore less concerned with school quality; perhaps they are more likely to drive and less concerned with public transportation; perhaps they place less value on a community being “environmentally friendly.”

Regardless of the precise mechanism, Sorens’ study drives home an important point: Coastal blue state NIMBYs aren’t just exacerbating segregation by income; they are exacerbating segregation by political affiliation as well. These patterns continue in a vicious cycle, and America keeps coming apart.//


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"In other words, Democrats, on balance, seem to be willing to pay a higher premium to live in heavily zoned communities, while Republicans would rather live somewhere with fewer amenities at lower cost."

Or put another way:
"In other words, Democrats are more successful on average financially and live in more expensive and nicer locations, while Republicans are in average less successful financially and live in less expensive and inferior locations."

Example: Nicer location: Carmel, SF Peninsula, Marin County, etc.
Inferior Location: Central Valley of CA (i.e. Fresno)

That theory is as supportable as the one presented in the article with its dubious logic and support.

 
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