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Zoning on the Urban Fringe: Results from a New Approach to Modeling Land and Housing Markets

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  • Magliocca, Nicholas
  • McConnell, Virginia

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Walls, Margaret

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Safirova, Elena

Abstract

This paper uses an economic agent-based model of land use in a hypothetical urban fringe community to examine the effects of large-lot zoning on land conversion, land prices, and the spatial configuration and density of new development. The model incorporates the actions of heterogeneous housing consumers, developers, and farmer/landowners who make economic decisions in land and housing markets. The model allows for population growth and simulates the evolution of land use patterns and prices over a 20-year time period. Zoning regulations in the form of minimum lot size restrictions imposed in an outlying area are shown to have effects that vary with the stringency of the regulations: 2-acre minimum lot sizes have little effect on the spatial patterns of development, but they do increase land and housing prices and result in higher incomes in the region; 5-acre minimum lot sizes push development toward the city center, leaving agricultural land in the zoned region undeveloped until quite late in the simulation period. While house prices are higher with 5-acre zoning, land prices in the zoned region fall, highlighting the countervailing influences of lot size restrictions on land prices. The new modeling approach allows for the tracking of the transitional dynamics of development, both over space and time as the urban area grows.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-11-32.

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Date of creation: 25 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-11-32

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Keywords: land use; agent-based model; zoning; urban sprawl;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Paul D. Gottlieb & Adesoji Adelaja, 2009. "The impact of down-zoning on land values: A theoretical approach," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 69(2), pages 206-227, July.
  3. Zabel, Jeffrey & Dalton, Maurice, 2011. "The impact of minimum lot size regulations on house prices in Eastern Massachusetts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 571-583.
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  9. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Lipman, D. Abram & Harrington, Winston & Bagliano, Andrew D., 2006. "Congestion Pricing: Long-Term Economic and Land-Use Effects," Discussion Papers dp-06-37, Resources For the Future.
  10. Walls, Margaret & McConnell, Virginia & Kopits, Elizabeth, 2005. "Zoning, TDRs, and the Density of Development," Discussion Papers dp-05-32, Resources For the Future.
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  22. White, Michelle J., 1975. "The effect of zoning on the size of metropolitan areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 279-290, October.
  23. Elena G. Irwin, 2010. "New Directions For Urban Economic Models Of Land Use Change: Incorporating Spatial Dynamics And Heterogeneity," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 65-91.
  24. Chen, Yong & Irwin, Elena G. & Jayaprakash, Ciriyam, 2011. "Incorporating Spatial Complexity into Economic Models of Land Markets and Land Use Change," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 40(3), December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eric A. Hanushek & Kuzey Yilmaz, 2012. "Land Use Controls and the Provision of Education," NBER Working Papers 17730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chen, Yong & Irwin, Elena G. & Jayaprakash, Ciriyam, 2011. "An Agent-Based Model of Exurban Land Development," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103641, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Dascher, Kristof, 2012. "Home Voters, House Prices, and the Political Economy of Zoning," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62069, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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