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Land Use Regulation and Productivity - Land Matters: Evidence from a UK Supermarket Chain


  • Paul Cheshire
  • Christian A. L. Hilber
  • Ioannis Kaplanis


We use store-specific data for a UK supermarket chain to estimate the impact of planning on store output. Exploiting the variation in policies between England and other UK countries, we isolate the impact of Town Centre First (TCF) policies introduced in England. We find they directly reduced output by forcing stores onto less productive sites. We estimate TCF policies imposed a loss of output of 32 percent on a representative store opening after their rigorous implementation in 1996. Additionally, we show that, household numbers constant, more restrictive local authorities have fewer stores and lower chain sales within their areas.

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  • Paul Cheshire & Christian A. L. Hilber & Ioannis Kaplanis, 2013. "Land Use Regulation and Productivity - Land Matters: Evidence from a UK Supermarket Chain," SERC Discussion Papers 0138, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0138

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Paul C. Cheshire & Christian A.L. Hilber, 2008. "Office Space Supply Restrictions in Britain: The Political Economy of Market Revenge," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages 185-221, June.
    3. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296.
    4. David Bell & Christian Hilber, 2006. "An empirical test of the Theory of Sales: Do household storage constraints affect consumer and store behavior?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 87-117, June.
    5. Fabiano Schivardi & Eliana Viviano, 2011. "Entry Barriers in Retail Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 145-170, March.
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    7. Richard K. Green & Stephen Malpezzi & Stephen K. Mayo, 2005. "Metropolitan-Specific Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Supply of Housing, and Their Sources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 334-339, May.
    8. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2013. "On the origins of land use regulations: Theory and evidence from US metro areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 29-43.
    9. Jonathan Haskel & Raffaella Sadun, 2012. "Regulation and UK Retailing Productivity: Evidence from Microdata," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(315), pages 425-448, July.
    10. Raffaella Sadun, 2015. "Does Planning Regulation Protect Independent Retailers?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(5), pages 983-1001, December.
    11. C.J. Krizan & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Rachel Griffith & Heike Harmgart, 2005. "Retail productivity," IFS Working Papers W05/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    13. Cheshire, Paul & Hilber, Christian A. L. & Kaplanis, Ioannis, 2011. "Evaluating the effects of planning policies on the retail sector: or do town centre first policies deliver the goods?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 31757, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Nancy Holman, 2015. "Distinctively Different: A New Approach to Valuing Architectural Amenities," SERC Discussion Papers 0171, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    2. Paul Cheshire & Christian Hilber & Piero Montebruno & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2017. "Using Micro-Geography Data to Identify Town-Centre Space in Great Britain," SERC Discussion Papers 0213, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    3. Brandão, António & Correia-da-Silva, João & Pinho, Joana, 2014. "Spatial competition between shopping centers," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 234-250.
    4. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Schöni, Olivier, 2016. "Housing policies in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States: lessons learned," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 72818, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Sloev, Igor & Thisse, Jacques-François & Ushchev, Philip, 2013. "Do we go shopping downtown or in the `burbs? Why not both?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9604, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Paul Cheshire & Gerard Dericks, 2014. "'Iconic Design' as Deadweight Loss: Rent Acquisition by Design in the Constrained London Office Market," SERC Discussion Papers 0154, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    7. Pozzi, Andrea & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2015. "Entry Regulation in Retail Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 10836, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. ., 2014. "Planning and economic performance," Chapters,in: Urban Economics and Urban Policy, chapter 5, pages 104-126 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Maria Sanchez Vidal, 2016. "Small shops for sale! The effects of big-box openings on grocery stores," Working Papers 2016/12, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    10. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Braakmann, Nils & Gonzalo-Almorox, Eduardo & Wildman, John, 2017. "The effect of house prices on the long-term care market: Evidence from England," MPRA Paper 81987, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    retail productivity; land use regulation; Town Centre First; local regulatory constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis

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