Downtowns Dominate New Zealand Transit Commuting


The statistical authorities of various nations survey commuting behavior of their citizens in periodic population censuses and related surveys. Most of this data relates to the residential location of workers, but not to the work location. Both sets of data are important for understanding the dynamics of mobility within urban areas. However, in some countries, like Canada and the United States work location is not readily available.  read more »


Brexit Will Be Britain’s Fourth of July


The campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, widely known as “Brexit,” is potentially on the verge of a huge victory Thursday despite overwhelming opposition in the media and among the corporate and political establishment. The outcome matters not just as an expression of arcane British insularity, but as evidence of a growing rebellion against the ever greater consolidation and concentration of power now occurring across all of Europe, as well as here in the United States.  read more »

The U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing Is Thriving


Perhaps no sector in the U.S. economy generates more angst than manufacturing. Over the past quarter century, manufacturing has hemorrhaged over 5 million jobs. The devastation of many regional economies, particularly in the Midwest, is testament to this decline. If the information sector has been the golden child of the media, manufacturing has been the offspring that we pity but can’t comfortably embrace.  read more »

Brexit: Why the Brits Will Stay... Or Go


On June 23, Britain votes on whether to remain in the European Union or to leave it. Either way, the point has been made and registered around the European continent that the British have more faith in the white rabbits of political fairy tales than they do in the sinkhole of Brussels and its economic policies.  read more »


California's State Religion


In a state ruled by a former Jesuit, perhaps we should not be shocked to find ourselves in the grip of an incipient state religion. Of course, this religion is not actually Christianity, or even anything close to the dogma of Catholicism, but something that increasingly resembles the former Soviet Union, or present-day Iran and Saudi Arabia, than the supposed world center of free, untrammeled expression.  read more »

Bye-Bye Big Apple!


Central Park jogs and carriage rides, Broadway shows, world-class museums and restaurants, the allure of Times Square: these are the things that make downtown New York City so appealing… for tourists. But for those who aren’t just visiting — for the millions who live and work in this bustling, densely populated area — the relationship with the core of the Big Apple can be equal parts love and hate.  read more »


Southern California Still Best place to Get Creative


Over the past decade, Southern California has lagged well behind its chief rivals – New York and the Bay Area, as well as the fast-growing cities of the Sun Belt – in everything from job creation to tech growth. Yet, in what the late economist Jack Kyser dubbed “the creative industries,” this region remains an impressive superpower.

By creative industries, we mean not just Hollywood’s film and television complex, which remains foundational, but those serving a host of other lifestyle-oriented activities, from fashion and product design to engineering theme parks, games and food. We may be lagging Silicon Valley in technology and New York in finance or news media, but when it comes to entertaining people, and defining lifestyle, the Southland remains a powerful, even primal, force.  read more »

Dublin Facing Another Housing Bubble?


In a recent column in the Sunday Independent, Ireland's largest weekend newspaper, one of Ireland's leading economists, Colm McCarthy of University College (Dublin) raised the prospect another housing bubble in Dublin, Ireland's leading weekend newspaper. Dublin is the nation's capital and home to approximately 40% of the population.  read more »

Health and Class


Late last year, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science documenting the rising morbidity and mortality in mid-life white men and women in America, especially for those with a high school degree or less.  They attributed this increase, a reversal of historic trends, to an epidemic of alcoholism, other drug use disorders, and suicide. Their findings are a wake up call for the US. Not only is something seriously wrong — it’s getting worse.  read more »


What Happens When There’s Nobody Left to Move to the City?


Following up on the Pew study that found many states will face declining work age populations in the future, I want to highlight a recent Atlantic article called “The Graying of Rural America.” It’s a profile of the small Oregon town of Fossil, which is slowly dying as the young people leave and a rump population of older people – median age 56 – begin to pass on.

Like the Pew study, this one has implications that weren’t fully traced out.

There’s a lot of urban triumphalism these days, as cities crow about Millennials wanting to live downtown and such.  read more »