City Life – Populations, Wages and Rents Compared

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Why do some towns and cities grow and expand, with associated housing costs rising, while others languish with an oversupply of housing?

The economic research institute Motu has just released the fourth and final paper in a series, funded by the Building Better National Science Challenge, looking at the drivers of urban development, using census data for 132 towns and cities from 1976 to 2013. The data includes wages, rents, and population size in each place.
Senior Fellow at Motu and Building Better Principal Investigator Dr Arthur Grimes says there is a disconnect between firms and businesses that want to be based in larger cities, while many residents are attracted to smaller places with less congestion and the lower costs of living.