In this article, Vincent Valk takes on the lists to find out just what, if any, impact they have.
"How, though, does this fascination with rankings affect cities? For places like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the answer is probably: It doesn't. I lived in Chicago when it first topped Forbes' "most stressful" list and I recall it causing some consternation on local blogs and news shows. But it quickly faded. Very large cities probably don't need to worry about businesses and would-be residents judging them based on lists.
But list rankings can inform policy decisions, especially in smaller or midsize cities."