"AbstractIn any dynamic economy, there is a risk of job loss. Job loss resulting from foreign rather than domestic competition has come under intense scrutiny recently with Britain’s exit from the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. While economists generally conclude that trade is broadly enriching, recent works have brought attention to the costs of trade to workers and communities. At the individual level, I find that the risk of layoff and unemployment to workers in trade-exposed sectors is comparable — or even lower — than the risk to workers in non-traded sectors and that these risks have not increased during the period of more intense competition with Chinese imports. At the community level, Autor, Dorn and Hanson (2013) find that local areas have experienced slower job and wage growth and higher unemployment because of import competition with China. Upon analyzing their data, I conclude that their results are biased by the weaker macroeconomic performance of 2000-2007 relative to the 1990s. When I analyze inter-local area economic changes — rather analyzing changes within and across areas — I fail to reject the null hypotheses that import competition has no effect on wage or employment growth, except within the manufacturing sector during the most recent period, or that it has no effect on many other outcomes, including labor force participation, intergenerational mobility, and mortality. During each period, import competition actually predicts an increase in average wages for manufacturing workers, as well as non-manufacturing during the 1990s period, and import competition predicts a shift toward college educated non-manufacturing jobs in the second period. I conclude that foreign competition does not appear to elevate the risk of job loss to a greater extent than domestic competition, and people living in the communities most exposed to foreign competition are no worse off on average."
"A new study at Downsizing Government looks at low-income housing aid. Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute examines the history of federal aid and discusses problems with current policies, particularly rental subsidies and public housing.
One problem is that housing aid is costly to taxpayers. The federal
government spent $30 billion on rental subsidies (Section 8 vouchers)
and almost $6 billion on public housing in 2016.
Another problem is that housing aid and related rules are costly to
urban communities. Howard argues that federal interventions undermine
neighborhoods, encourage dependency, and create disincentives for
long-term maintenance and improvements in housing.
In urban politics, there are frequent calls for “affordable housing.”
But Howard says that it is a myth that markets cannot provide decent
housing for people at all income levels. He discusses the vast private
housing investment in the decades prior to the 1930s, which was a time
of rapid growth in America’s big cities.
The problem today is that government rules and regulations inflate
housing costs, which is the topic of an upcoming study by Cato’s housing
expert, Vanessa Calder.
What should Ben Carson do? The new Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development should heed Howard’s advice and work to cut federal
subsidies. Carson should also follow through on his conviction that HUD
imposes too many “social engineering” rules on local governments.
Vanessa provides further policy guidance for Carson here, and she discusses an example of the sort of top-down HUD mandate that should be on the chopping block here.
Howard’s vast scholarship on housing policy is here.
More information on HUD is here. I would particularly recommend HUD Scandals. My god, Ronald Reagan’s HUD was appalling."