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Decomposing the Growth in Residential Land in the United States

  • Henry Overman
  • Diego Puga
  • Matthew Turner

This paper decomposes the growth in land occupied by residences in the United States to give the relative contributions of changing demographics versus increases in the land area used by individual households. Between 1976 and 1992 the amount of residential land in the United States grew 47.5% while population only grew 17.8%. At first glance, this suggests an important role for per-household increases. However, the calculations in this paper show that only 24.3% of the growth in residential land area can be attributed to State level changes in land per household. 37.5% is due to overall population growth, 5.9% to the shift of population towards States with larger houses, 22.7% to an increase in the number of households over this period, and the remaining 9.5% to interactions between these changes. There are large differences across states and metropolitan areas in the relative importance of these components.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0778.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0778.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0778
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Rachel L. Ngai, 2007. "An R&D-based Model of Multi-sector Growth," 2007 Meeting Papers 349, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," CEP Discussion Papers dp0769, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Jan Oosterhaven & Jan Van Der Linden, 1997. "European Technology, Trade and Income Changes for 1975-85: An Intercountry Input-Output Decomposition," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 393-412.
  5. Erik Dietzenbacher & Bart Los, 1998. "Structural Decomposition Techniques: Sense and Sensitivity," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 307-324.
  6. Leiwen Jiang & Brian C. O'Neill, 2007. "Impacts of Demographic Trends on US Household Size and Structure," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(3), pages 567-591.
  7. Lawrence Santi, 1988. "The demographic context of recent change in the structure of American households," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 509-519, November.
  8. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2005. "Causes of sprawl: A portrait from space," Working Papers tecipa-192, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Frances Kobrin, 1976. "The fall in household size and the rise of the primary individual in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 127-138, February.
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