Blogs

US Population Estimate Accuracy: 2010

Intercensal population estimates, while generally reliable, are prone to substantial variation in some cases. This is especially so with municipal population estimates.  read more »

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Piketty's Wealth Driven Inequality: Virtually All in Housing?

The Economist headline reads: "Through the roof: Rising house prices may be chiefly responsible for rising inequality"

This is no surprise to those of us who have been chronicling the loss of destruction of middle income housing affordability where urban containment policy has been implemented from Australia to Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.  read more »

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California Dreamin’ or California Nightmare?

Our recent report on “California Social Priorities” — released by Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy and the topic of the first meeting of the Houston based Center for Opportunity Urbanism — stirred up some controversy. A largely negative response came from Josh Stephens from the California Planning and Development Report.  read more »

Lobbying Pays Off 500-to-1

I suppose we should not be shocked: businesses that spend money for lobbying and campaign contributions get more favors from government than those that do not. I spent the weekend at Creighton University in a seminar sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies. I asked Creighton Associate Professor of Economics Diana Thomas about her research on the unintended consequences of regulation.  read more »

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Short Film: Emigrate

Emigrate tells the story of Jacob, a South-Asian teenager who has just graduated high school in the United States. His parents are immigrants and thus far he has kept his family life and his personal life clearly delineated. However, when his worlds collide he is forced to confront his own dishonesty or lose the relationships that matter most to him. 

The film was independently produced in the fall of 2014 by a collaboration of filmmakers from Chapman University.   read more »

A Lifetime of Financial Advice for 2015

When household savings falls and household debt rises, “most people” are spending more than they make. When people find out I’m an economist, they often ask if I can explain why “most people” can’t figure out how to handle their money. The New York Fed recently reported the end of deleveraging: American households are borrowing again. When you get paid, you can do one of two things with your money: save it or spend it.  read more »

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Voting on Public Art in St. Petersburg Florida

Public art may soon get a boost in St. Petersburg, Florida when citizens cast ballots for a new design proposal to redevelop the 1971 St. Pete Pier.  After a 4-year process involving two design competitions (citizens roundly rejected the first competition results), this Florida coastal city will, in 2015, implement a design.  read more »

Governments’ Oil Windfall

We are reading a lot about the windfall coming to consumers due to falling gas prices now that oil is under $50/barrel. But cheap energy also represents a windfall for governments, including governments who are hard pressed for cash.  read more »

Sources for Our "Southern California Stuck in Drive" Story

Joel Kotkin and I wrote in the Orange County Register that transit work trip market shares in the Los Angeles area had changed little, from 5.9 percent in 1980 to 5.8 percent in 2013. In a response, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACTMTA) noted that we did not cite sources. Fair enough. Our source was the 1980 US Census and the 2013 American Community Survey, a product of the United States Census Bureau.  read more »

Childish Things: So Many San Franciscans Don't Wanna Grow Up. But Who Can Afford To?

Earlier this year, an extremely clever married couple named Catherine Herdlick and Gabe Smedresman celebrated the latter's 30th birthday by throwing a citywide Logan's Run-themed chase game. What a perfect motif for a night out in San Francisco: A pastime for beautiful young adults in this city of beautiful young adults re-creating a movie about beautiful young adults enjoying a lavish, indulgent — and extremely temporary — existence.  read more »

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