"Put two workers with similar skill levels in cities of different densities and the one in the denser place will be more productive, according to two decades' worth of research from economists," writes Avent.
Avent also believes that restrictions on development have kept cities expensive to the detriment of their economic benefit:
"The 'Not in My Backyard' philosophy sometimes, though by no means always, supports a high quality of life. Yet the effect is to raise housing costs and make rich cities more exclusive. Real trouble occurs when the idea-generators in cities with that NIMBY approach become so protective of their pleasant streets that they turn away other idea-generators, undermining the city's economic role."