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Tag Archives: Regulation

The problem with environmental impact statements

Back in the 1970s, the federal government began requiring environmental impact statements for certain types of projects. In retrospect, this was probably a mistake. The Tejon Ranch development provides a good example of what can go wrong. Here’s an article from 2008: “How heartening it is, the sound of environmentalists and developers harmoniously agreeing on new construction. That’s what first came to mind when the Tejon Ranch Co. and such environmental heavyweights...

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Both Amazon and Workers Win

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama will not be forming a union. The vast majority of votes cast by Amazon’s workers in Bessemer, Ala., were against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in a stinging defeat of the union drive. The final tally showed 1,798 votes against unionizing and 738 votes in favor of the union. This is from a news story from National Public Radio. The piece, by Alina Selyukh, is “It’s a No: Amazon Warehouse Workers Vote...

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Build, Baby, Build: Now Under Construction

I’m now about halfway done with the storyboards for my new non-fiction graphic novel, Build, Baby, Build: The Science and Ethics of Housing.  This time around, I’ll be published by the Cato Institute, a think tank I’ve been working with since the summer of 1991.  If all goes well, this will be the first volume in an entire Cato library of books modelled after my Open Borders – works that combine high scholarly standards with compelling sequential art to explore...

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The future belongs to the Squamish

One groups wants to preserve the traditional way of living, with an extended family dwelling in little single-family homes. Another group wants to embrace progress, erecting soaring futuristic skyscrapers: We’ve seen this dynamic play out over and over again, all over the world.  What might surprise you is that in this case the progressive group that wants to build massive skyscrapers is a Native American tribe, while the people who wish to live according to the old...

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Immigration and Housing: The Meaning of Hsieh-Moretti

Now that we correctly understand Hsieh-Moretti’s results, let’s put them in context. 1. Immigration researchers have focused heavily on the economic effects of full deregulation of immigration.  Hsieh-Moretti (henceforth HM), in contrast, focus on the economic effects of moderate housing deregulation.   Their chief hypothetical is not, “What would happen if there were zero housing regulation?” but “What would happen if the Bay Area and NYC only had as much housing...

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Hsieh-Moretti on Housing Regulation: A Gracious Admission of Error

Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti‘s “Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation” (American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics) is arguably the single most influential article ever published on housing regulation.  It also contains a few large miscalculations. I noticed them a couple weeks ago, and Hsieh and Moretti have graciously confirmed the mistakes via email.  Since the gracious admission of error was always a rare bird, and practically went extinct circa 2016,...

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Two Cheers (Not Three)

David Henderson is correct that I gave too many cheers – in this earlier post – to Florida governor Ron DeSantis. While I cheer loudly and unequivocally Gov. DeSantis’s rejection of government-mandated vaccine passports, I also believe that private companies should have the right to insist on whatever conditions they fancy for their patrons and workers. Comments

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The Bad and Good Vaccine Passports

On his blog this morning, my friend and fellow blogger Donald Boudreaux has given three cheers to Florida governor Ron DeSantis for his opposition to vaccine passports. I would give the governor at most two cheers. Why? Because one type of vaccine passport is horrendous and a huge violation of individual rights. Moreover, even aside from principle, it’s less and less effective as we get closer and closer to herd immunity. That type of vaccine passport is one that...

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The cultural impact of rent control

The Economist has an article discussing the predictable failure of Berlin’s new rent control law: And indeed a recent study by the German Institute for Economic Research found that rents in the newly regulated market of flats built before 2014 have declined by 11% compared with the still-unregulated market for newer buildings. But the problem, entirely foreseeable and foreseen, is that the caps have made the city’s housing shortage much worse: the number of classified...

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Privileges and Privacy for the Rulers

Recent journalistic investigations revealed that the family and friends of New York governor Andrew Cuomo benefited from nomenklatura privileges at the time when ordinary people had problems getting Covid-19 tests and timely results. These state-privileged people could be tested rapidly, often at home and many times if they wished. Their tests were often rushed to laboratories by state troopers and treated in priority. Liz Wolfe of Reason Magazine writes: There was...

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