News and Commentary
In a paper in the American Economic Review, Enrico Moretti evaluates whether high-tech clusters, highly concentrated in relatively few cities, influence inventor productivity, finding that “When an inventor moves to a city with a large cluster of inventors in the same field, she experiences a sizable increase in the number and quality of patents produced. The presence of significant productivity externalities implies that the agglomeration of inventors generates large gains in the aggregate amount of innovation produced in the United States.”
At the New York Times, Soumya Karlamangla offers details on California’s recently passed housing bills.
In his Model Citizen newsletter, Will Wilkinson treats the assertion of a Beverly Hills council member that YIMBYism is racist: “State preemption of local zoning regulations is a blow against segregation because it restores a bit of the property rights denied home/land-owners by homevoter cartels, such as the Beverly Hills city council.”
In the Regulatory Review, Megan Russo draws on the work of Olatunde Johnson to think through some of the complex implications of gentrification and the Fair Housing Act. “Accountable development practices ask private developers to provide a public benefit in exchange for receiving tax credits. Cities could, for instance, require developers to build a certain number of affordable housing units if they want to develop in a gentrifying community.”
In an NBER working paper, Amir Kermani and Francis Wong assess racial disparities in housing returns. “Black and Hispanic homeowners are both more likely to experience a distressed sale and to live in neighborhoods where distressed sales erase more house value. Importantly, absent financial distress, houses owned by minorities do not appreciate at slower rates than houses owned by non-minorities.”