Archive | Economics

St. Paul Empire Builder

Reader Survey: What Would You Pay for Minneapolis-Duluth Rail Service?

On March 27, we posted about the numbers surrounding the proposed $600 million investment to bring Amtrak rail service along a corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth. Many of you shared your stories of rail and bus travel, and many expressed a deep appreciation for the comfort and conveniences of travel by rail. In an effort […]

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Sustainable To-Go Packaging: Still a Push in St. Paul

Streets.mn readers care about the environment, right? That’s why we’re counting on you to care about the push for sustainable to-go packaging at restaurants and eateries in St. Paul. St. Paul City Council members are warming up to the idea of updating the city’s ordinance to require sustainable to-go packaging, with an implementation period of […]

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Map Monday: Designated Opportunity Zones of the Twin Cities

This past weekend Star Tribune metro reporter Eric Roper wrote about the census tract that includes the Mall of America and Bloomington’s South Loop being classified as Opportunity Zones. He notes that in the 2017 tax code overhaul, Congress created Opportunity Zones to offer tax advantages for investments made in designated distressed areas. The designations stay in […]

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Here’s Some Research Backing Up Minneapolis 2040

Some Minneapolis 2040 detractors have complained that no evidence has been offered that building more housing where people want to live (i.e. “density”) is good. “I just don’t see it as a way that we would get a measurable impact, and especially from an affordability standpoint,” Ward 13 Council Member Linea Palmisano told the Star Tribune. Another […]

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Chart of the Day: Population Growth in Largest Midwestern Metros

Bloomberg carried a chart-laden article recently, written by Justin Fox, showing the disparate population growth rates in Northeastern and Midwestern cities. It charts the differences in growth rate distribution along the coasts, where three large metro areas are generating nearly all the population growth, and in the Midwest, where growth rates are more evenly distributed. […]

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Chart of the Day: MSP Non-Minnesotan Domestic Migration, 1991-2016

Here’s a chart from, Aaron Renn, an urban economic consultant who has been critical the Twin Cities for some time now as not being attractive enough to national movers and shakers. In his recent blogpost, he writes about how domestic in-migration to the metro area is up slightly, but why he does not think much […]

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What is the Cost/Value of a Calorie?

We spend more for healthcare per person than any other country. By a significant amount. Some of this extra cost is in better healthcare facilities, more personnel, higher pay that attracts better caregivers, and other things. These increase costs, but not by much. The biggest chunk, 50-70% of our total healthcare costs, is that we […]

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Deep North Podcast – The Artist Life in MSP

Artist density in Minnesota is 150% greater than the national average but is it possible to live the artist life in MSP? Artist density in Minnesota is 150% greater than the national average,  Minnesota is second to only New York City in theatre employment, and Minnesotans lay claim to icons like Bob Dylan, The Replacements, […]

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Chart of the Day: Metro Restaurant Trends, Chains versus Locals

Via Slate, Yelp has some fun new charts that break down restaurant ranking data according to type of establishment. They chart broad trends over time that show online reviewers are more and more likely to be critical of chain restaurants and positive about local or independent restaurants. Here’s are the Twin Cities trendlines: The point […]

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On Rent Control

After 2017’s City Council races in Minneapolis and Ginger Jentzen’s strong showing, rent control has re-entered the housing discourse in the Twin Cities again, despite the fact that it is preempted at the state level. It’s my belief that the preemption and much of the opposition to rent control is based in a certain inflexibility […]

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