Does state growth management change the pattern of urban growth? Evidence from Florida
This paper examines a policy question of acute interest in the fields of urban and regional economics and urban planning: if a state government wanted to alter the spatial pattern of growth, could it? The analysis uses a bidirectional growth model to examine equilibrium densities of people and jobs throughout the Atlantic Southeast, which includes Florida--a state having one of the nation's best-known pieces of growth management legislation. The results suggest that Florida's policy is associated with changes in population density. The Florida program is associated with a lower equilibrium population density and slower adjustment to that equilibrium density in urban counties, but a higher equilibrium population density and a faster adjustment to equilibrium in suburban counties. On net, this is consistent with a shift of development from urban to suburban counties. Our results also highlight the importance of geographic scale, as we note that analyses using counties and metropolitan statistical areas give different results which can be reconciled by examining the patterns across urban, suburban and exurban counties.
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