Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Apr 30th 2007 at 3:49pm UTC

“The Growth of Sunbelt Has Little to Do with the Sun”

That’s a direct quote of the central finding from a new NBER research paper by Harvard University economics Edward Glaeser and Kristina Tobio, who find not only that growth and housing prices in the Sunbelt have slowed, but that the region’s development had little to do with weather, climate, sunny days, or related amenities in the first place. The paper is here. Another new Glaeser paper, this one on agglomeration with Glen Ellison and William Kerr, is here.

2 Responses to ““The Growth of Sunbelt Has Little to Do with the Sun””

  1. Sandy Says:

    Can’t wait to see what occurs when the water supply is further depleted.

  2. Michael Wells Says:

    Interesting to look at this in the light of other recent posts. (First notice that they’re talking mostly about the old Confederacy, not much emphesis on the Southwest). Eight of the 10 best cities for African Americans are in the South. The Creative Heat map shows a lot of warmth in the Old South, not just from the sun. The two most recent profiles of cities trying to build creative environments were Macon and Tampa Bay. Jack White leaves Detroit for Nashville.

    I’d guess that a major factor was an increasing openness since the 1950’s, and that as the South opened up people responded and moved there for the culture, the low cost of living, the natural beauty and probably the sun.

    The South has always been creative — almost all American music forms originated there (Jazz, blues, rock & roll, country, bluegrass, much folk). But the closed culture based around segregation kept it from manifesting in most other areas of life. The civil rights movement either changed the South or allowed the South to change. I think the region’s natural strengths are just starting to emerge.