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The Causes and Consequences of Land Use Regulation: Evidence from Greater Boston

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Bryce A. Ward

Abstract

Over the past 30 years, eastern Massachusetts has seen a remarkable combination of rising home prices and declining supply of new homes. The reductions in new supply don't appear to reflect a real lack of land, but instead reflect a response to man-made restrictions on development. In this paper, we examine the land-use regulations in greater Boston. There has been a large increase in the number of new regulations, which differ widely over space. Few variables, other than historical density and abundant recreational water, reliably predict these regulations. High lot sizes and other regulations are associated with less construction. The regulations boost prices by decreasing density, but density levels seem far too low to maximize total land value.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12601.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Publication status: published as Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2009. "The causes and consequences of land use regulation: Evidence from Greater Boston," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 265-278, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12601

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 7636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2005. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 323-328, May.
  4. William A. Fischel, 1978. "A Property Rights Approach to Municipal Zoning," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(1), pages 64-81.
  5. Jan K. Brueckner, 1990. "Growth Controls and Land Values in an Open City," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(3), pages 237-248.
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Cited by:
  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 155-253.
  2. Sims, Katharine R.E. & Schuetz, Jenny, 2009. "Local regulation and land-use change: The effects of wetlands bylaws in Massachusetts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 409-421, July.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser, 2007. "The Economics Approach to Cities," NBER Working Papers 13696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2012. "Do political parties matter for local land use policies?," Working Papers 2012/28, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  5. Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López & Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans Marsal, 2014. "Do Land Use Policies Follow Road Construction," CESifo Working Paper Series 4672, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Glaeser, Edward L., 2008. "The Economic Approach to Cities," Working Paper Series rwp08-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2007. "Economic and political determinants of urban expansion: Exploring the local connection," Working Papers 2007/5, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  8. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2010. "Lobbying, political competition, and local land supply: recent evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2010/45, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  9. Edward L. Glaeser, 2007. "Do Regional Economies Need Regional Coordination?," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000917, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Maurice Dalton & Jeffrey Zabel, 2009. "The Impact of Minimum Lot Size Regulations on House Prices in Eastern Massachusetts," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0732, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  11. Daniel Czamanski & Rafael Roth, 2011. "Characteristic time, developers’ behavior and leapfrogging dynamics of high-rise buildings," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 101-118, February.

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