from Follow the Money

What is the matter with Kansas?

December 4, 2005

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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After seeing this graph over at Calculated Risk, I could not resist.   It seems my home state has the least housing froth around ...

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that a (very young) University of Kansas basketball team is off to subpar start.   But the connection between the local basketball team and the local housing market may be a bit less robust than the connection between football (soccer to Americans) and equity markets.  Hat tip: Daniel Gross.

More likely, lots of space and relatively few people are not the raw material most likely to generate a housing boom.   Kansas doesn't suffer from the same problems as Michigan (another housing market laggard); aircraft matter more than autos.  But rising productivity on the farm (one wheat farmer can work more land now than in the past) means that there are lots of small towns with more homes than people.

Put it this way: Kansas has lots of Wal-mart shoppers, not lots of hedge fund managers with cash to spend.

And spend they are, whether on contemporary art or horses.  High oil prices also may have something to do with the health of the bull market in racehorses.  Kansas, alas, is not Kentucky.

Contemporary economic and social stratification.   See Robert Reich (via Kathleen McArthur) and Steve Hsu as well as Paul Krugman.

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