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Regulatory Barriers to the Diffusion of Innovation: Some Evidence from Building Codes

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  • Sharon M. Oster
  • John M. Quigley

Abstract

Previous studies, including the reports of the Douglas and Kaiser Commission, have suggested that outmoded local regulation of residential construction has impeded technical progress in the industry. In this paper, we try to identify the determinants of differences across communities in these regulations. The permissibility of four particular innovations in a cross section of jurisdictions in 1970 and the timing of these innovations are explained by attributes of local firms, labor unions, building officials, and housing demand. Our results suggest that the educational level of the chief building official, the extent of unionization, and the relative size of housebuilding firms in an area affect the diffusion of innovations in residential construction.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharon M. Oster & John M. Quigley, 1977. "Regulatory Barriers to the Diffusion of Innovation: Some Evidence from Building Codes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 361-377, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:8:y:1977:i:autumn:p:361-377
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Geroski, P. A., 2000. "Models of technology diffusion," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 603-625, April.
    2. Mueller, Steffen, 2006. "Missing the spark: An investigation into the low adoption paradox of combined heat and power technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3153-3164, November.
    3. Gyourko, Joseph & Molloy, Raven, 2015. "Regulation and Housing Supply," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Martin Jakob & Reinhard Madlener, 2003. "Exploring Experience Curves for the Building Envelope: An Investigation for Switzerland for 1970–2020," CEPE Working paper series 03-22, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    5. Wang, Chunhua, 2014. "Regulating land development in a natural disaster-prone area: The roles of building codes," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 209-228.
    6. Holmes, Thomas J. & Jr., James A. Schmitz, 2001. "A gain from trade: From unproductive to productive entrepreneurship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 417-446, April.
    7. Carolyn A. Dehring & Martin Halek, 2013. "Coastal Building Codes and Hurricane Damage," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(4), pages 597-613.
    8. Garrett, Vicki & Koontz, Tomas M., 2008. "Breaking the cycle: Producer and consumer perspectives on the non-adoption of passive solar housing in the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1551-1566, April.
    9. Carlton, Dennis W. & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 1989. "The Economics of Information," Research Reports 25156, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
    10. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 1995. "Resistance to new technology and trade between areas," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-17.
    11. Joseph Gyourko & Raven Molloy, 2014. "Regulation and Housing Supply," NBER Working Papers 20536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Carolyn A. Dehring, 2006. "Building Codes and Land Values in High Hazard Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(4), pages 513-528.
    13. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 1994. "Resistance to technology and trade between areas," Staff Report 184, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    14. Nils Kok & Marquise McGraw & John Quigley, 2012. "The diffusion over time and space of energy efficiency in building," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(2), pages 541-564, April.

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