Building Gated Cities: Economic Effects of Housing Limits

Colorado’s rapid growth has inspired local elected officials and residents to consider initiatives to limit permits for new home construction.

REMI is hosting a guest webinar with Chris Brown, Director of Policy and Research at the Common Sense Policy Roundtable, for a webinar on Thursday, December 14th from 2 to 3 p.m. EST.

Through a partnership among Common Sense Policy Roundtable, the Colorado Association of Realtors, Colorado Concern and Denver South Economic Development Partnership, Mr. Brown authored a report that looked at the economic and fiscal effects of restricting housing growth in the city of Lakewood, Colorado.

In addition to Lakewood, supporters of limiting growth in Colorado have proposed a statewide ballot measure that would restrict housing development across 10 Front Range counties.

Mr. Brown found that the Lakewood proposal offered by policy makers to cap Lakewood housing growth created a risk of unintended consequences in an attempt to decrease regional congestion and increase quality of life. The partnership is also assessing the potential impacts of the statewide measure, which could appear on the ballot next year.

For the webinar, Mr. Brown will be discussing how he used REMI’s dynamic economic modeling to evaluate the potential impacts of housing growth regulations.

You can view Mr. Brown’s report on the Lakewood proposal here, and register for the webinar here.

Jobs and Trade: Effects of US-Alberta Commerce

The effects of trade policy can vary significantly from one region to another, and from one industry to another – so understanding the localized impacts is critical.

Laura Adkins-Hackett, a senior economic research analyst with the Government of Alberta, gave a talk at the REMI Users’ Conference in October exploring the vital relationship between the Canadian province and the U.S. REMI is offering a guest webinar presented by her on Wednesday, December 20th from 2 to 3 p.m. EST.

The U.S. is seeking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with its partners, Canada and Mexico. Any revisions to the agreement could have major ramifications for regions or industries that are especially reliant on cross-border commerce.

Nearly 90 percent of Alberta’s merchandise exports go to the U.S., and up to 70 percent of the province’s merchandise imports come from the U.S. In 2015, one out of five jobs in Alberta was in an export-reliant industry.

You can view Ms. Adkins-Hackett’s presentation here and sign up for the webinar here.

NAFTA and Its Effect on the Canadian Dollar

If the North American Free Trade Agreement continues on as currently constructed, the Canadian dollar could be in for a meaningful decline. Analysts have begun considerations and calculations on potential scenarios that might coincide with these NAFTA negotiations.

The uncertainty centers around the deteriorating relationship between Mexico and the United States, leaving Canada as almost a third-party bystander to the eventual outcome that will affect all parties considerably. A public breakdown of NAFTA could hinder the business and overall partnerships between all three countries as each would have to locate new places and allies in order to stabilize and re-evaluate their respective economy.

The article states, “And Canada would bear the brunt of that uncertainty from an export perspective. According to research by University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe, Michigan and Vermont are the only U.S. states where trade with Canada exceeds 10 per cent of their annual economic output. Compare that with Canadian provinces like Ontario where 49 per cent of its GDP depends on trade within the U.S., Alberta, where it’s 31 per cent and Quebec where the U.S. makes up 23 per cent of the province’s GDP.”

Please join us on Wednesday, December 20th from 2 to 3 p.m. EST when Laura Adkins-Hackett will be providing further critical information and analysis on the importance of trade between the U.S. and the Canadian province of Alberta.

For more on the effect of NAFTA negotiations on the Canadian dollar, please read this article from Yahoo! Finance.

The State of American Housing

California is in the midst of a housing and development crisis as a reluctance from neighborhoods and, subsequently, regional governments towards the construction of new affordable housing has forced the state government’s hand. California is not the only state struggling to accommodate its citizens, but the overall area available, variety of regions, and economic opportunities make the coastal state an appropriate case study.

As more neighborhoods attempt to disrupt their local development efforts so as to preserve their current domain, state officials are running out of prospective places to meaningfully expand. The stagnation has also played a role in rising housing and construction costs in the short-term and can affect workforce and labor demands for regional businesses in the long-term.

The state’s median home price has now reached $500,000, twice the national average and 60 percent higher than five years prior. An inability to relocate has also impacted normal commute times and could cause further complications to an already overworked California transportation network.

Chris Brown, Director of Policy and Research at the Common Sense Policy Roundtable, will be presenting a guest webinar on Thursday, December 14th from 2 to 3 p.m. EST discussing the economic and fiscal effects of capping housing growth in Lakewood, Colorado.

You can read more on the state of California’s housing situation in this article from the New York Times.

Auto Regulations & the Economy

Researchers from Indiana University analyzed the combined effects of three regulatory programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gases through rules for new cars and light trucks: the U.S. Department of Transportation’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for model years 2017-2025; the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2017-2025; and the California Air Resources Board’s Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) requirements for 2018-2025.

You can access the full report by clicking here.

The study, titled “Macroeconomic Study of Federal and State Automotive Regulations with Recommendations for Analysts, Regulators, and Legislators,” was authored by Sanya Carley, Denvil Duncan, John D. Graham, Saba Siddiki, and Nikolaos Zirogiannis. REMI recognized their work this year with George I. Treyz Award for Excellence in Economic and Demographic Analysis.

Using REMI’s modeling software, the researchers found that the overall annual impact is negative in the near term but positive in the longer term. They looked at the price effects of the increasingly more stringent standards and related economic impacts; the economic benefits of innovations inspired by the regulations; and reallocation of spending as the result of savings on gasoline spending.