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.
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.:
- Cheshire, Paul & Sheppard, Stephen, 2002.
"The welfare economics of land use planning,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 242-269, September.
- Paul Cheshire & Stephen Sheppard, 2001. "The Welfare Economics of Land Use Planning," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- 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 Elsevier.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- 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.
- 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.
- Alex Anas & Hyok-Joo Rhee, 2004. "Curbing Excess Sprawl with Congestion Tolls and Urban Boundaries," Urban/Regional 0408004, EconWPA.
- Wilson, John Douglas, 1987. "Trade in a Tiebout Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 431-441, June.
- 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.
- Ashenfelter, Orley, 1976. "On the interpretation of urban density functions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 82-87, January.
- 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.
- Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633.
- 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.
- Thomas J. Nechyba & Randall P. Walsh, 2004. "Urban Sprawl," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 177-200, Fall.
- Arnott, Richard J., 1979. "Unpriced transport congestion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 294-316, October.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wheaton, William C., 1998. "Land Use and Density in Cities with Congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 258-272, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.