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Finance

What's In Your City's Wallet?

What's In Your City's Wallet?

City officials often ask, “What target price point for new homes will ensure that we can balance our books?” Here’s why they’re asking the wrong question.

Local Governments’ Alarming Capital Spending Ratios

Local Governments’ Alarming Capital Spending Ratios

There are many ways for state and local governments to run hidden deficits, one of which is deferred maintenance. But it turns out there is a way to measure the extent to which local governments kick the maintenance can down the road.

Why Is That House or Storefront Vacant?

Why Is That House or Storefront Vacant?

In an area where the population is growing, one question often vexes neighbors: why is that house or storefront vacant? It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Why do landlords leave properties empty when they could be getting rent?

E-Scooters and Paying for Roads

E-Scooters and Paying for Roads

Charging electric scooter companies for their use of public space is sensible, but why stop there? What if car drivers were actually asked to pay the full costs they impose as well?

Investing for a Strong Town

Investing for a Strong Town

Local governments have a moral duty to pursue growth and investment strategies that have no chance of blowing up.

Modern Monetary Theory and Strong Towns

Modern Monetary Theory and Strong Towns

Modern Monetary Theory is growing in populist appeal, but it doesn't address the problems we are struggling to overcome with the Strong Towns movement.

The Paradox of Persistent Vacancies and High Prices

The Paradox of Persistent Vacancies and High Prices

The crazy distortions we see in housing and real estate won't be solved by centralized interventions, be they corporate or government. Only at the local level do we have the nuance to start creating something that works.

What Slasher Films Taught Me About City Financing

What Slasher Films Taught Me About City Financing

The best kind of horror filmmakers, like the best kind of placemakers, find ways not just to survive their budgetary shortcomings, but to make work that is more creative and exciting because of that constraint.

The Economic Implications of More Infrastructure Spending

The Economic Implications of More Infrastructure Spending

In this interview, Chuck Marohn and Russ Roberts, host of the EconTalk podcast, discuss the political appeal of infrastructure spending vs. the economics perspective. They also talk about how to ensure a good return on investment and how to focus on smaller-scale projects.