MHP's "Recipe for Growth"

Last week, I attended a day of the Third Annual Massachusetts Housing Institute sponsored by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.  The day was thought provoking and well-attended by local officials.  The highlight of the day for me was the presentation by economist Edward Moscovitch about his new study for MHP:

 "Recipe for Growth: Analsyis of 242 metro areas shows most common ingredients for job creation and why housing is key to Massachusetts' economic future."

The report is eye opening with eight main conclusions:

  1. Metropolitan areas with large manufacturing have slower employment growth.
  2. Regions that build more housing achieve stronger job growth.
  3. Housing supply has more impact on job growth than housing cost.
  4. Job growth is much weaker in places with large-lot zoning (defined as a minimum lot size of one acre or more).  Another interesting and related fact from the report:  "More new houses are built on large lots in eastern Massachusetts than anywhere else in the U.S." 
  5. Domestic in-migration proves to be a strong predictor of job growth.
  6. High in-migration is critical to employment growth.
  7. State and local tax burdens have little impact on job growth.  A related fact quoted from the report: "Most high-growth regions have higher taxes than Massachusetts." 
  8. Really fast growth requires warm winters.  "But, Boston grows a lot more slowly than other cold cities." 

Lots of food for thought, self-reflection, and an impetus to rethink local and state policies.  

If you care to share your reactions to the report's conclusions, comment on this post.