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The preservation of historic districts—is it worth it?

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  • Sevrin Waights

Abstract

I investigate the welfare effect of conservation areas that preserve historic districts by regulating development. Such regulation may improve the quality of life but does so by reducing housing productivity—that is, the efficiency with which inputs (land and non-land) are converted into housing services. Using a unique panel dataset for English cities and an instrumental variable approach, I find that conservation areas lead to higher house prices for given land values and building costs (lower housing productivity) and higher house prices for given wages (higher quality of life). The overall welfare impact is found to be negative.

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  • Sevrin Waights, 2019. "The preservation of historic districts—is it worth it?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 433-464.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:19:y:2019:i:2:p:433-464.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Hanlon, W.Walker & Heblich, Stephan, 2022. "History and urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    3. Sevrin Waights, 2018. "Does gentrification displace poor households? An 'identification-via-interaction' approach," CEP Discussion Papers dp1540, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. Zhou, Yang, 2021. "The political economy of historic districts: The private, the public, and the collective," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    5. Yanxin Liu & Huajiao Li & Jianhe Guan & Xueyong Liu & Yajie Qi, 2019. "The role of the world’s major steel markets in price spillover networks: an analysis based on complex network motifs," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 14(4), pages 697-720, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing; planning; regulation; historic preservation; construction; land;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H89 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Other
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • 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
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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