A note on Texas’ population-driven jobs boom. A few people came up to me after the Cato event on Thursday night and said something like, you may be right but doesn’t the population boom show that people are voting with their feet for Texas-style public policy? Alternatively, Brad DeLong says it’s just about weather and has nothing to do with public policy.
I think both of those views are wrong. You can’t talk about revealed preferences without looking at prices. Notwithstanding the real estate crash, someone who bought a building in Williamsburg or Central Square or Logan Circle ten or fifteen years ago has done very well for himself. This would not be a million dollar house in Houston. In Brooklyn and Cambridge and DC we have “gentrification.” In Dallas they have population growth. There’s little net population increase in coastal states because THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH (book forthcoming).