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Zoning and the Distribution of Locational Rents: An Empirical Analysis of Harris County Texas

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  • Jeremy Groves

    (Washington University, St. Louis)

  • Eric Helland

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

The Coase theorem presents two criteria for evaluating regulation. The first is how successful the regulation is at reaching the efficient outcome relative to private solutions. The second and less discussed criterion is how the regulation affects the distribution of wealth. Previous studies of the impact of municipal zoning have focused on Coase's first criteria: whether zoning raises land values overall. There has been less focus on distributional aspects of zoning. How does municipal zoning affect the wealth of participants in the property market? Most of the existing studies focus on the transfer of rents between those who have developed property and those with undeveloped property. This study estimates the transfer of wealth between owners of existing homes that results from the creation of a municipal zoning ordinance. We find that property best suited to residential use gains in value while property with relatively higher potential as commercial property experiences a decline in the value. Our results support the contention that zoning is distributive.

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Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 2000-15.

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Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2000-15

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  1. McMillen Daniel P. & McDonald John F., 1993. "Could Zoning Have Increased Land Values in Chicago?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 167-188, March.
  2. Mark, Jonathan H. & Goldberg, Michael A., 1986. "A study of the impacts of zoning on housing values over time," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 257-273, November.
  3. Frech, H. III & Lafferty, Ronald N., 1984. "The effect of the California Coastal Commission on housing prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 105-123, July.
  4. McDonald, John F & McMillen, Daniel P, 1998. "Land Values, Land Use, and the First Chicago Zoning Ordinance," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 135-50, March.
  5. William Fischel, 1980. "Externalities and zoning," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 37-43, January.
  6. Wallace, Nancy E., 1988. "The market effects of zoning undeveloped land: Does zoning follow the market?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 307-326, May.
  7. Ohls, James C. & Weisberg, Richard Chadbourn & White, Michelle J., 1974. "The effect of zoning on land value," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 428-444, October.
  8. Daniel P. McMillen & John F. McDonald, 2002. "Land Values In A Newly Zoned City," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 62-72, February.
  9. Gerrit J. Knaap, 1997. "The Price Effects of Urban Growth Boundaries in Metropolitan Portland, Oregon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(1), pages 26-35.
  10. Henry O. Pollakowski & Susan M. Wachter, 1990. "The Effects of Land-Use Constraints on Housing Prices," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(3), pages 315-324.
  11. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1991. "A simultaneous equations model of zoning and land values," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 55-72, May.
  12. Grieson, Ronald E. & White, James R., 1981. "The effects of zoning on structure and land markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 271-285, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan Young, 2004. "Effects of Zoning on Residential Option Value," Working Papers 200412, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  2. Deaton, Brady J., Jr. & Hoehn, John P. & Norris, Patricia E., 2005. "Net Buyers, Net Sellers, and Agricultural Landowner Support for Agricultural Zoning," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19391, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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