Some Accounting for Taste


In a piece on EconLib, Washington University economist John Nye has an interesting post about former Reason editor Virginia Postrel's book, The Substance of Style and the externalities of aesthetic choices. A snippet:

It's not too much of a stretch to argue that the debate over urban sprawl is more about aesthetics than any number of more obvious issues regarding the environment or the cost of long-distance commuting. To quote a young professor I know, "I just don't like all these big cars and want to see few of them." On the other hand, I also met a (probably atypical) Parisian who told me, "I'm sick of these old buildings and tired of Paris being a museum. We need more skyscrapers, freeways and shopping malls." Perhaps these two gentlemen would be happy to switch places, but they cannot happily coexist in the same city.

Whole thing here.