Dissecting Wendell Cox

Bill Fulton looks at Wendell Cox's new study linking regulation to high home prices and concludes that it is based on self-fulfilling assumptions.
November 7, 2010, 1pm PST | Tim Halbur
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In his new analysis of 11 American metropolitan areas, Cox does extensive quantitative analysis to prove that all difference in home price is due to regulation. But it's not too surprising that he reaches that conclusion, considering that his analysis assumes that any difference must be due to regulation.

The list of other things that could account for this difference is long indeed, but Cox doesn't even give lip service to any of them. Instead of acknowledging the complexity of the situation, Cox lumps all public policy into the same category of intrusive regulation and then ascribes all variation in home price to that regulation.

Unfortunately, Cox's stuff is the Fox News – or MSNBC, if you prefer – of land use research. One point of view always wins out. The possibility that another point of view may have merit is simply never entertained. Instead of moving toward greater understanding about land use policy and how to use it, we are pushed deeper into our own separate world views – and further away from a useful policy debate.

Thanks to Bill Fulton

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Published on Saturday, November 6, 2010 in California Planning & Development Report
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