As we have pointed out many times the size of the median newly constructed home is about 40% larger today than in the 1970s (and contains a lot more stuff, like bathrooms, appliances, garage space, closets, cable TV and internet connections). Which is a physical refutation of the claims of no increase in middle class incomes over the same period.Replies
- The increase in house size is a physical quantity; it means that people have more stuff, period!
A point we've made to Brad DeLong a dozen years ago too. Keep up the good fight, Noah.
The BLS, or any economist measuring rents, is trying to hold the quality of housing constant. So house size should have no effect on rents. Thus, if real rents have been flat, that means that housing has made no contribution to living standards.
One important reason for this is that productivity growth in homebuilding is typically very low, or even negative. So this has been a pretty big failure of the US economy.