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Outside the Box: This is the dark side of cities’ boasts about their low cost of living

Cities often tout their low cost of living as a tool for attracting new residents. On the face of it, that would make sense. After all, who wouldn’t like to pay less for the things they buy: home, auto, food and recreation? Who would not wish to move to an adjacent neighborhood and pay less for all these things?

Of course, if all of this were true there would be a mass exodus of families and businesses from expensive places. Quite the opposite is happening, and that warrants a brief lesson in economic geography.

The typical household consumes some 300 to 500 different goods and services each month.

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