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An Economic History of Zoning and a Cure for its Exclusionary Effects

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  • William A. Fischel

    (Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, 6106 Rockefeller Hall, Hanover, NH 03755, USA, Bill.Fischel@Dartmouth.edu)

Abstract

The paper outlines the 20th-century history of American zoning to explain how home-owners came to dominate its content and administration in most jurisdictions. Zoning's original purpose was to protect home-owners in residential areas from devaluation by industrial and apartment uses that had been made footloose by trucks and buses around 1910-20. Completion of the interstate highway system around 1970 made jobs and employees so mobile that suburbs adopted growth controls to stem the tide. If zoning is indeed a substitute for home-value insurance, it seems worthwhile to investigate the possibility of home-equity insurance to reduce the demand for exclusionary zoning.

Suggested Citation

  • William A. Fischel, 2004. "An Economic History of Zoning and a Cure for its Exclusionary Effects," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 41(2), pages 317-340, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:41:y:2004:i:2:p:317-340
    DOI: 10.1080/0042098032000165271
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    References listed on IDEAS

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