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The naive economics of SB 50

January 13, 2020

Long read but well worth it.

SF CEQA

By Michael Barnes :mb4albany – except (includes inspired info graphics)

WARNING: THIS POST IS LONG AND DETAILED. BUT IF YOU STICK WITH IT, I THINK YOU WILL FIND IT WAS WORTH YOUR TIME.

San Francisco State Senator Scott Wiener, along with our own State Senator Nancy Skinner, have resubmitted their zoning bill SB 50, which was converted to a two-year bill at end of the last legislative session. The final version of the bill is not yet available, but the flaws in previous incarnations of this bill no doubt will remain.

The rhetoric from the bill’s supporters has been sloppy enough that I think it’s time to frame the issues the bill raises in the rigorous analytic framework of neoclassical economics. The supporters of the bill assume their such a framework supports their positions, but they are mistaken. In what follows, I’ll lay out the groundwork my analysis, which…

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