Monday, January 30, 2006

Preferences over policies

The tireless Wendell Cox assembles more interesting urban data than anyone. His graphic on metro area population density trends, comparing London, Los Angeles, New York and Paris shows long run convergence -- to now. In other words, policy differences matter very little. Preferences are more similar than different -- and they trump policy differences.

The graphic also shows that big density differences were in place about 100 years ago. Yet, this is the contrast that most "experts" still believe in. They spend too much time in the old cores of the European capitals when they travel -- and not enough time studying Wendell's numbers.