Energy Consumption in California: Why Population Density Matters

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), California ranked 48th in the country in energy consumption per capita in 2016. In fact, the average California households consumed 31% less energy than the national average. Commonly cited reasons for California’s low levels of per capita energy consumption are its raft of of energy efficiency programs as

The Melancholy of Consuming Alone

Each quarter the Lowe Institute partners with Chapman University to produce consumer sentiment indices for three nearby metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. The fourth quarter results—based on surveys conducted in mid-December—are in. You may recall it was a rather eventful quarter headlined by a precipitous stock market decline and a

The Rise (and Fall?) of LA’s Startup Scene

When we think about venture capital and private equity, tech, or even just the word “entrepreneur,” many of us immediately picture Silicon Valley — the land of Zuckerberg, Google, and the iPhone. Take one easy flight or embark down the I-5, however, and you’ll find what has quickly become an interesting player in California’s startup

Hyperloop: The Boring Launch

In typical Elon Musk-style, the launch of the Hyperloop tunnel, which was scheduled for for December 10, was canceled and postponed to December 18, 2018 to a new and unrevealed location. Boring Company product launch on Dec 18. More than a tunnel opening. Will include modded but fully road legal autonomous transport cars & ground

Looking Ahead: Is a Recession on the Horizon?

We are currently enjoying the second longest expansion since the end of WW II and the national unemployment rate, standing at 3.7% for October, is at a 49-year low. So why do so many professional economists believe the expansion is likely to end soon? According to a Wall Street Journal survey conducted in May, almost

Your Neighborhood’s Impact on Income

How Accessible is the Ladder in Your Neighborhood? In March of 2018, economists from Stanford and Harvard teamed-up with the U.S. Census Bureau to produce a longitudinal study investigating the relationship between race and economic opportunity in the United States. By tying de-identified IRS tax returns to Census Bureau data, the researchers were able to

Costs of Commuting and How Public Transport Might Help

In the Road and Repair Accountability Act  (SB 1), California has pledged to increase its spending on state transportation infrastructure by $54 billion over the next decade for “fix it first” highway and road projects, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and public transit. One aspect in which these investments can translate into public benefits are the

A Wave of Blue Money Sweeps US House Races in Southern CA to the Left

When the FEC released campaign finance data from the third quarter of 2018, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com shifted his House predictions further in favor of the Democrats. Republicans were out-fundraised in the third quarter and that may cost them in key California elections and ballot measures. The national Republican Party began to pull money from

The Animal Spirits of Donkeys and Elephants

You may have heard that household spending decisions constitute 70% of total economic activity in the United States. Consequently, understanding how households currently view their present and future finances is critical to projecting the overall trajectory of the U.S. economy. Consumer sentiment indices are surveys of several hundred households that are then condensed into single-number