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What drives the diffusion of inclusionary zoning?

Author

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  • Rachel Meltzer

    (Assistant Professor, Urban Policy Analysis and Management, Milano The New School for Management & Urban Policy)

  • Jenny Schuetz

    (Assistant Professor, the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California)

Abstract

Social scientists offer competing theories on what explains the policymaking process. These typically include economic rationalism, political competition or power struggles, and policy imitation of the kind that diffuses across spatially proximate neighbors. In this paper, we examine the factors that have influenced a recent local policy trend in California: inclusionary zoning (IZ). IZ programs require developers to make a certain percentage of the units within their market-rate residential developments affordable to low- or moderate-income households. By 2007, 68 percent of jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area had adopted some type of IZ policy. We test the relative importance of economic, political, and spatial factors in explaining the rapid diffusion of IZ, across 100 cities and towns in the Bay Area. Consistent with an economic efficiency argument, results of hazard models provide some evidence that IZ is adopted in places with less affordable housing. However, political factors, such as partisan affiliation and the strength of affordable housing nonprofits, are even more robust predictors of whether or not a local government adopts IZ. There is no evidence of spatial diffusion in the case of IZ adoption; jurisdictions are not, on average, responding to the behavior of their neighbors. © 2010 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Meltzer & Jenny Schuetz, 2010. "What drives the diffusion of inclusionary zoning?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 578-602.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:578-602
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20510
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20510
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John F. McDonald & Daniel P. McMillen, 2004. "Determinants of Suburban Development Controls: A Fischel Expedition," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 41(2), pages 341-361, February.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:64:y:1970:i:03:p:843-864_13 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2004. "Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 191-214, Winter.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:56:y:1962:i:03:p:615-620_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Brueckner, Jan K. & Saavedra, Luz A., 2001. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 54(2), pages 203-230, June.
    7. Jenny Schuetz, 2008. "Guarding the Town Walls: Mechanisms and Motives for Restricting Multifamily Housing in Massachusetts," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 555-586, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Walsh, Patrick J. & Bird, Stephen & Heintzelman, Martin D., 2015. "Understanding Local Regulation of Fracking: A Spatial Econometric Approach," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 138-163, August.
    2. Adji Fatou Diagne & Haydar Kurban & Benoît Schmutz, 2017. "Are Inclusionary Housing Programs Color-blind? The Case of Montgomery County MPDU Program," Working Papers 2017-47, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.

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