Category Archives: Economics

There’s no free kicks

City-owned land should maximize resident happiness. The City of Austin’s Hancock Golf Course, located in central Austin. Image courtesy of Brandon Tucker. 

Posted in Development, Economics, Fiscal | Comments Off on There’s no free kicks

What Nobody Proved About Austin

This piece in the Texas Monthly has been making the social media circles.  It argues that – surprise! – Austin might be the state’s most segregated city. It’s so Slate-y in its counter-intuitive hypothesis, that I could just not resist … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Economics, Housing | 4 Comments

One take on improving Austin affordability

Brigid Shea’s recent Statesman editorial implies that Austin’s affordability issues are substantially driven by municipal taxes and rates.  The author bemoans that: “In the coming year, Austin residents will see an average $150 increase on their water and electric bills … Continue reading

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Austin Affordability: What Matters?

The discussion around Austin’s ‘affordability’ was perhaps the most interesting policy theme from the recent municipal election. Unfortunately, the discussion seemed to focus on economic development subsidies.  These subsidies – while they might contribute to reducing Austin’s affordability in some … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Economics, Transportation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Some suggestions for the Statesman on their Austin Economy series

The Statesman’s review of the Austin economic climate is a much-needed profile and (to some extent) evaluation of the city’s economy. There are four areas where the Statesman’s coverage could improve. 1. Don’t forget about sub-group income levels. Not everybody … Continue reading

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Austin’s democracy deficit hurts local median income

Wells Dunbar’s tumblr post of demographic data from the City’s African-American Quality of Life Initiative reminded me that there’s a local democracy deficit concerning municipal policies that might help boost median income. I visualize the family median income data below.  … Continue reading

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Save to Win Austin?

Nudgeblog highlights the remarkably effective Save to Win! effort by community-focused financial service institutions in Michigan and makes a suggestion: With banks acting like lotteries, maybe it’s time for lotteries to act like banks. For people who can’t give up … Continue reading

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We all want incentives

From the Statesman: It’s worth repeating that incentives that spend taxpayers’ dollars to attract companies to Austin are not always warranted or justified and should be granted or denied on a case-by-case basis. And whenever incentives are granted, there must … Continue reading

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Actually, Pretty Bad Poverty News for Austin

Yesterday, we looked at the Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area’s inching up on median household incomes.  Today, the Statesman drills down on Austin-only data and finds a more mixed bag.  Most of the changes seem to be in the margin of … Continue reading

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Taking Credit for Austin MSA Median Income Growth (Part I)

The good folks over at CAPCOG’s Data Points blog give us the good news: Austin MSA median household income is up. However, as I argued in the past, we have to put this in the context of our substantial amount … Continue reading

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