Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who cares more about affordable housing, Democrats or Republicans?

Much has been made of the census data showing that Republican-leaning "red" states grew more than Democratic-leaning "blue" states in the last ten years.   But Ed Glaeser looks closely at the numbers and concludes that it is cheap housing, caused by fewer housing restrictions, that accounts for the changes:

My interpretation of Red State growth is that Republican states have grown more quickly because building is easier in those states, primarily because of housing regulations. Republican states are less prone to restrict construction than places like California and Massachusetts, and as a result, high-quality housing is much cheaper.

There is a strange irony in this: more conservative places do a much better job in providing affordable housing for ordinary Americans than progressive states that are believed to care about affordable housing.


  1. I might be missing something here, but it seems as though a very, very simple fact is being ignored and instead political agendas are being interjected:

    All of these "growth" states have room to grow. They are hugely underdeveloped compared to the Northeast/California.

  2. "Undeveloped" seems like a relative term. I suspect that the anti-growth ethic is so strong in California, especially, that it is hard to get permission to do anything that requires a zoning change.