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Increasing returns, land use controls and housing prices in China


  • Zhang, Dingsheng
  • Cheng, Wenli
  • Ng, Yew-Kwang


The Chinese government has been active in trying to cool the alleged bubbles in its housing markets, especially in urban areas. This paper argues that the high housing prices are partly caused by some real factors, including the policy of restricting land uses, in particular the maintenance of a minimum overall agricultural acreage. A simple model of three sectors (housing, agriculture, and others) is constructed to examine the effects of the artificial constraint. The role of increasing returns in the non-agricultural sectors in exacerbating the policy biases is also examined. The model is then calibrated to estimate the effects of land use control policy on housing prices in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Dingsheng & Cheng, Wenli & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 2013. "Increasing returns, land use controls and housing prices in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 789-795.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:31:y:2013:i:c:p:789-795 DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2013.01.034

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhang, Yanbing & Hua, Xiuping & Zhao, Liang, 2012. "Exploring determinants of housing prices: A case study of Chinese experience in 1999–2010," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2349-2361.
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    9. Yew-Kwang Ng & Dingsheng Zhang, 2007. "Average-cost Pricing, Increasing Returns, and Optimal Output: Comparing Home and Market Production," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 90(2), pages 167-192, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Howden & Jason XingBin Li, 2015. "An Austrian Analysis of China's Unsustainable Boom," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 443-452, October.
    2. Chen, W.D., 2016. "Policy failure or success? Detecting market failure in China's housing market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 109-121.
    3. Nannan Yuan & Shigeyuki Hamori, 2014. "Are government interventions effective in regulating China fs house prices?," Discussion Papers 1427, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    4. Feng, Qu & Wu, Guiying Laura, 2015. "Bubble or riddle? An asset-pricing approach evaluation on China's housing market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 376-383.
    5. repec:eee:regeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Barros, Carlos Pestana & Gil-Alana, Luis A. & Chen, Zhongfei, 2014. "The housing market in Beijing and delays in sales: A fractional polynomial survival model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 296-300.
    7. repec:eee:ecmode:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:638-645 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Increasing returns; Land use controls in China; Housing prices in China;

    JEL classification:

    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy


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