According to an article in today’s Boston Globe, two new studies have been released that conclude that high housing prices are causing employers to expand operations in other states (where the employers can save money by paying lower wages).

”High housing prices are hurting our economy today because they are discouraging employment growth and encouraging out-migration of the population,” said Barry Bluestone, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy (CRAP) at Northeastern University.

And, why are housing prices so high in Massachusetts?

My hero, Edward Glaeser, chimes in on the topic:

”If you don’t permit, you don’t grow population and you don’t grow jobs,” said Glaeser, director of Harvard’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, a policy think tank. ”If you don’t want to build, you’ve got to accept the fact that Boston is going to lose population, and you have to quit wringing our hands on this,” he said. (Emphasis, mine.)

Exactly.

However, I have to disagree with the conclusions reached by the authors of the two studies.

While companies may be moving out of state to escape high employee costs, and while housing may be expensive, in Massachusetts, I don’t know if I agree that this leads to a net migration from the state.

I also don’t know if I can agree with the Globe’s Kimberly Blanton, who wrote this article, that, “(o)ften, these young professionals are seeking employment and are first-time home buyers, so they flee to lower-cost housing in places like North Carolina or Florida.”

The Globe reported, just days ago, that people moving out of state to North Carolina do so for job opportunities, not for cheaper housing.

More information: Home costs are called a drag on state growth – By Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe

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Updated: January 2018

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