Tuesday 21 December 2010

It's chaos out there ...

No, not the snow, but the government's approach to localism which one Conservative MP has described as deliberately chaotic (you can listen here - 7.14). There is a serious point here with which many urban economists would sympathise. Because people are different, with different preferences over public good provision and taxation it can be good to have different policies implemented in different places. This holds even if all places are otherwise identical. Add to the mix the fact that places may be different (say rural or urban), and there are many reasons why policy should vary.

The problem, of course, is that the British appear to be allergic to "postcode lotteries" - where outcomes differ across areas - and the hysterical reaction to Nick Boles' comments suggest that nothing much is changing there.