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The Gated City (Kindle Single) (English Edition) von [Avent, Ryan]
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Something has gone wrong with the American economy. Over the past 30 years, great technological leaps failed to translate into faster growth, more jobs, or rising incomes. The link between innovation and broad prosperity seems to have broken down.

At the heart of the problem is a great migration. Families are fleeing the country's richest cities in droves, leaving places like San Francisco and Boston for the great expanse of the Sunbelt, where homes are cheap, but wages are low.

In The Gated City, Ryan Avent, The Economist's economics correspondent, diagnoses a critical misfiring in the American economic machine. America's most innovative cities have become playgrounds for the rich, repelling a cost-conscious middle class and helping to concentrate American wealth in the hands of a few. Until these cities can provide a high quality of life to average households, American economic stagnation will continue.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 459 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 90 Seiten
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.6 von 5 Sternen 17 Rezensionen
27 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Compelling, but repetitive 4. September 2011
Von Jeremy Aldrich - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
For the greater part of this longer-than-usual Kindle Single, the author repeats and reframes his central thesis which I think he most concisely expresses towards the end: "The cost of housing in places like San Francisco and New York reflects one very clear, striking fact - there are many, many Americans that would love to live in places where they would be more productive and less of a contributor to climate change, if oly the locals would allow markets to respond to housing demands."

Using a series of examples, the argument is put forth that dense cities are good for both human and economic progress, that market forces should be allowed to work, and that NIMBY instincts are ultimately counter-productive. In the short section presenting possible solutions, the author highlights strengthening urban property rights, building "alternative downtowns", and compromising with anti-development forces by offering new connections to mass transit systems.

This is a sensible persuasive piece, the kind of compassionate libertarianism you might expect to read on a particularly good blog. It would have been improved if the author had gotten to the point a bit faster, but it is an argument worth considering.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent explanation of how neighborhood actions affect the national economy 12. September 2011
Von J6 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is the book I wished I could write. Avent aggregates phenomena occurring in local neighborhoods around the country and connects this to declining national productivity vis-a-vis high housing prices in high-wage cities and the sunbelt's growth-fueled growth. The core argument, that NIMBYISM is destroying America, is well-developed. Rational actors in communities across America seek to minimize property risk and protect their neighborhoods by reducing the density of new projects or preventing them entirely. This leads to sub-optimal location decisions for many new residents, who locate in exurban greenfield development or leave regions altogether.

Avent presents transit-oriented-development as a uniquely American solution to combat the effects of NIMBYISM. The pamphlet is concise and Avent focuses on his core argument. Thus, he only touches on how transit-oriented-development can mitigate the negative impacts associated with higher densities. I was left longing for more of Avent's prose focused on strategies to address NIMBYISM and combat its effects on non-incumbent households and national productivity.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A popular book that works for scholars as well 19. September 2011
Von David Schleicher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
Avent's new book is a must read for anyone interested in urban affairs, land use policy, or just how public policy can have an impact on the growth rate of the economy. Avent makes a compelling argument that growing sectors of the economy aren't adding new jobs because of the effect of local land use policies on the cost and availability of labor in the metropolitan areas where firms in these sectors locate. His use of the agglomeration economics literature to show the costs of zoning policy is both engaging and masterful. This book is sure to be cited both in popular discussion about zoning and in scholarly debate on the long-term effect land use policies have on the economy. And it's a really engaging and fun read. -- David Schleicher, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen In some parts interesting, in some parts naive. 10. September 2012
Von G. Alexander - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I liked parts of this book but have some issues with it. I thought it provided a very good description of the benefits of industry clusters and the benefits of density. In the past I have found it difficult to find decent information on the benefits of industry clusters, so I am glad I read this and the book, and primarily on that basis, it was worth my time. Nonetheless, I did have several issues with contents.

I thought the book underappreciated the fact that there are significant negative externalities associated with high density and urban development. The book mentions that congestion is a problem, and a city at some point will become inefficiently large but hardly focuses on this. I think the costs of congestion are of great relevance to the book. It's a major problem with higher density, and of course developers don't account for the externalities (including higher congestion) they are imposing on society by building dense, something the book may do well to appreciate.

The author suggested that if residents wanted to prevent a development, they should be required to buy the land or pay (bribe) the developer to comply (with changes to the development). In my view that's completely impractical and inefficient. Who has the capacity to buy a block of land simply because they don't like the proposed development? What about the transaction and holding costs? Developments have very real externalities. How would you feel if someone wanted to build a pink factory next to you, which runs 24 hours a day, with smoke and noise permeating through your backyard and the Government said to you, if you don't like it just buy the land or bribe the factory owners into building something better. It would also encourage the developers to propose especially offensive developments so they could win bigger bribes from neighbours who want them to change the development. Furthermore, residents won't be willing to buy the land or pay these bribes quite often because of the free rider problem, that is, they will wait for their neighbours to buy the land or pay the bribes, or they won't buy because their neighbours can't chip in and so they perceive themselves to be sharing an unfair, high proportion of the burden associated with changing or preventing the development so it is better for the neighbourhood. Also, what about externalities such as parking demand and congestion, which are too widely imposed on society that a group could never form to pay off a developer not to build. Those sorts of externalities would never be dealt with and a developer could do things like build a massive office building, provide no car parks and monopolise all public parking and if there is still an overflow of parking demand, there would be parking on private lawns and such.

I also do think that NIMBYism can be a major problem, but I don't think the benefits of freer development, nationwide, are quite as high as the author believes. The author thinks that when people settle in Pheonix instead of San Francisco because San Francisco was too expensive (because of development restrictions), it's a sacrifice to productivity. That may be so to an extent but If a random 20% of San Francisco's population was transplanted to Pheonix, and vice versa, the average wage of Pheonix would rise and in San Francisco it would decline after a while. Why? Pheonix isn't inherently unproductive and San Fran isn't inherently productive. Productivity depends largely though not entirely on people, and where productive people move, productivity will follow. New industry clusters can form. If the most productive cities are restricting development then businesses, as well as people, are free to move around.

The benefits of density may be overstated in the book. Yes, denser cities may often be more productive but it is potentially the success of those cities which attracts more people and higher density, rather than purely the other way round.

I also wondered why, if, in San Francisco people were leaving during the tech boom, why were property prices going up? As it says in the book. Wouldn't there be a glut of housing supply on the market as a result of massive, rapid population decline? This isn't so much a criticism of the book, but it's an oddity which warrants discussion. I also don't necessarily think it would have been a good thinng that Government controls were lesser in San Francisco during the tech boom. It was after all a major exercise in resource misallocation.

I am an urban planner and economist.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent urban planning piece 10. Januar 2012
Von Gregory Lewis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This single takes on current urban planning procedures and explains and expounds on why they fail, and then what we can do about it. As a student of geography and urban planning, I enjoyed and feel educated by this book.
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