1853. Land without people

land-use restrictions

New Hsieh-Moretti paper  land-use restrictions cut aggregate US growth 1964-2009 by >50%!

Typical economics paper with no reference to people. It is assumed that a land use regime that maximizes corporate values is the best. The constraint is, high prices make it difficult for labor, but the idea is that under rent control conditions which prevent building new housing, labor costs too much.

Land my be crucial for rethinking the future. The cultural/economic evolution goes like this

  • Hunters on open land
  • pastoralists on semi claimed land (shift of value from cattle to land for grazing cattle – a result of population increase)
  • land title (early empires)
  • ability to borrow against land as an asset
  • ability to sell land rather than  areturn it to the state on death.
  • Locke’s logic that land is free and open until it isn’t –

Social experimentation is very hard when the land is all privately owned and not open for any experimentation. This is a deep problem  worth lots of thinking.

I am reading
Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing

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