Ryan Avent sums up the Economic Argument Against Localism

He normally writes for the Economist

Cato – referring to US but could be anywhere.

metropolitan areas may need institutional reforms that better balance the economic interests of the metropolitan area (and the country as a whole) with the interests and preferences of those living in neighborhoods that are likely to be affected by new development. When land-use decisions are made at a hyper-local level — giving local council members or commissions extensive influence over which projects are approved, or focusing negotiation between residents and developers at the street level rather than the metropolitan level — the result will typically be far too little development. Those living immediately around a project enjoy some of its benefits but bear nearly all of its costs, in terms of disruption and congestion; they are therefore highly motivated to block projects and can succeed when local institutions enable them.



One thought on “Ryan Avent sums up the Economic Argument Against Localism

  1. Very difficult to argue that local politics sometimes has far more influence on planning matters than is desirable. However, the writer also offers an explanation as to why local opposition is often generated and sometimes supported; the negative impact on existing residents. Of course anything that changes the view, creates noise and dust, or increases traffic and congestion, is likely to generate a negative reaction. However, far more could be done to placate those whom object and more importantly, train the political decision makers, than currently happens.

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