Indiana is wrestling with a housing problem. Mayors across the state grapple with ways to get new homes built in their communities. Last year, the Indiana Legislature convened a task force that listened to several groups outline their perspectives. One result is that in this session of the General Assembly, there are bills to subsidize developers to construct new housing.

I am sympathetic to their worries. About one-third of the nation’s workers now can work from home, and housing availability will matter to the tens of millions of families who can now live wherever they wish. That is why it is necessary for policymakers to understand the full dimensions of the problem. In many cases the wrong remedy is worse than doing nothing.

Michael J. Hicks is the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics in the Miller College of Business at Ball State University. His column appears in Indiana newspapers.

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