Saturday, January 01, 2011

An analysis of the benefits of growth

I've occasionally written about the potential implications of unrestrained growth. Now the Eugene Weekly has posted an article, Prosperity: Growth and Prosperity: Public policy often based on unsupported assumptions that suggests that, of the largest 100 US cities, those with the largest growth may not have fared as well on significant dimensions as those with slower growth.  

Read the article and the associated report for specifics, check out the data, if you're so inclined, and let me know what you think.  Do you have data (or analysis of their data) that supports their conclusions?  Do you have data or analysis that suggests an alternative conclusion is more warranted?

Thanks to Sightline Daily for the link.

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Blogger Tom Fiddaman said...

OK, you have to explain how the label "classical music business" applies here. :)

Anyway, interesting article - it's always nice to see departures from mainstream growth chearleading. In particular, it's good that it raises the question of side effects and inequitable distribution of benefits of growth.

I also think this kind of simple regression analysis of effects that are causally complex (like growth and income) is full of pitfalls. This illustrates several - the problem of noise (2009 being a tough endpoint) and difficulty interpreting direction. Does fast growth cause higher poverty rates, or do low-income areas grow faster?

03 January, 2011 08:03  
Blogger Bill Harris said...

Oops. :-)

I think your second point is well taken, too. Had I more time, I might have tried to grab the data and to review it myself using a more dynamic model. That's why I'm mostly inviting further thoughts and analysis rather than simply pointing to their conclusion.

03 January, 2011 19:02  

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