Authors: Michael I. Luger
Fannie Mae Foundation
Quality of life depends on the assortment of amenities that individuals and businesses value. Differences in the amount and mix of those amenities should affect the geographic sorting out of households and businesses, as well as welfare. Policy makers recognize the trend toward widening intrametropolitan disparities among and within communities and have either discussed or proposed several measures that can help address the problem. However, the differences in quality of life that are developing among communities reflect macro changes in the economy that policy may not, and perhaps should not, attempt to affect. As long as information is widely available and workers are reasonably mobile, the economy will adjust to differences in quality of life that develop. Policy can at least help facilitate that equilibration, and perhaps it can compensate those in the economy who suffer major dislocations in the process.
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