Anti-sprawl policies in a system of congested cities
Armed with recurring analyses since the mid 1960s, economists believe that the under-pricing of traffic congestion in urban areas causes not only excessive travel but also excessively low land use densities and excessively spread out cities, a condition popularly known as urban sprawl. This conclusion is derived from analyses of a single monocentric city. We extend the analysis to a system of two asymmetric monocentric cities closed in aggregate population, differing by their amenity. In this setup, we analyze the effect of optimally tolling traffic congestion, or of optimally determined urban growth boundaries (UGBs), a constrained optimum regime that can also be implemented by taxes and subsidies on land. We prove that either policy regime may expand aggregate urban land use relative to laissez-faire. This is certainly true when the elasticity of substitution between lot size and other goods is sufficiently small and/or the cities are sufficiently asymmetric in their amenities. In both cases, the inter-city expansive effect of tolling, or of the UGB regime on aggregate urban land use outweighs the contractive intra-city effect (which is the only effect considered in earlier studies). Only when the elasticity of substitution is sufficiently large and/or the cities are sufficiently symmetric, the intra-city contractive effects of tolling or of the UGBs on aggregate land use, dominate the inter-city expansive effect, validating the earlier belief. These, properties are illustrated in simulations which supplement our proofs.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Paul Cheshire & Stephen Sheppard, 2001.
"The Welfare Economics of Land Use Planning,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
2001-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- White, Lawrence J., 1977. "A further note on density functions and average distance from the center," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 218-219, April.
- Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004.
"Sprawl and urban growth,"
Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,
in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527
- Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wheaton, William C., 1998. "Land Use and Density in Cities with Congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 258-272, March.
- 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.
- Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006.
"Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633, May.
- Anas, Alex & Rhee, Hyok-Joo, 2007. "When are urban growth boundaries not second-best policies to congestion tolls?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 263-286, March.
- Ashenfelter, Orley, 1976. "On the interpretation of urban density functions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 82-87, January.
- Alex Anas & Hyok-Joo Rhee, 2004.
"Curbing Excess Sprawl with Congestion Tolls and Urban Boundaries,"
- Anas, Alex & Rhee, Hyok-Joo, 2006. "Curbing excess sprawl with congestion tolls and urban boundaries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 510-541, July.
- Chang-Moo Lee & Peter Linneman, 1998. "Dynamics of the Greenbelt Amenity Effect on the Land Market-The Case of Seoul's Greenbelt," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 26(1), pages 107-129.
- Thomas J. Nechyba & Randall P. Walsh, 2004. "Urban Sprawl," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 177-200, Fall.
- Wilson, John Douglas, 1987. "Trade in a Tiebout Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 431-41, June.
- Son, Jae-Young & Kim, Kyung-Hwan, 1998. "Analysis of Urban Land Shortages: The Case of Korean Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 362-384, May.
- Arnott, Richard J., 1979. "Unpriced transport congestion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 294-316, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:38:y:2008:i:5:p:408-423. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.