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Sprawl and blight

  • Brueckner, Jan K.
  • Helsley, Robert W.

The objective of this paper is to show how the same market failures that contribute to urban sprawl also contribute to urban blight. The paper develops a simple dynamic model in which new suburban and older central-city properties compete for mobile residents. The level of housing services generated by older properties depends on current maintenance or reinvestment expenditures. In this setting, market failures that reduce the cost of occupying suburban locations, thus leading to excessive suburban development, also depress central-city housing prices and undermine maintenance incentives, leading to deficient levels of central-city reinvestment. Corrective policies that shift population from the suburbs to the center result in higher levels of reinvestment in central-city housing, therefore reducing blight.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 205-213

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:69:y:2011:i:2:p:205-213
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Brueckner, Jan K., 2007. "Urban growth boundaries: An effective second-best remedy for unpriced traffic congestion?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 263-273, November.
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  17. Bradford, David F & Kelejian, Harry H, 1973. "An Econometric Model of the Flight to the Suburbs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 566-89, May-June.
  18. Jordan Rappaport, 2003. "Moving to nice weather," Research Working Paper RWP 03-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  19. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2005. "Causes of sprawl: A portrait from space," Working Papers tecipa-192, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  20. Bento, Antonio M. & Franco, Sofia F. & Kaffine, Daniel, 2006. "The efficiency and distributional impacts of alternative anti-sprawl policies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 121-141, January.
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