Massachusetts Struggles to Retain its Young Talent

The Bay State is terrific at attracting the leading young minds from around to world to its prestigious institutions of higher education. But when those students graduate, high housing prices are forcing them out of the state, writes Edward Glaeser.
June 19, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Citing a recent article in the Globe, Glaeser notes that the number of Massachusetts homeowners between ages 25 and 34 dropped by nearly 32,000 - or 19 percent - between 2005 and 2010, and he blames the "over-regulation of new housing, especially in suburbs near the urban core," as the source of the affordability problem.

Glaeser argues that, "Our high prices ultimately reflect the Draconian limits on Boston-area construction. We don't lack land, but our rules don't let us build on that land. An overwhelming number of communities near Boston have enacted fearsome land use controls, including minimum lot sizes that are often over an acre, which make it all but impossible to produce significant numbers of starter homes."

He adds, "Massachusetts expertly protects middle-aged insiders, like myself, but shuts its door to younger outsiders. If we maintain our fortress mentality instead of allowing more building, the recent decline in younger homeowners will be just another missed warning signal."

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Published on Thursday, June 14, 2012 in The Boston Globe
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