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Stringency of Land-Use Regulation: Building Heights in US Cities

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Listed:
  • Jan K. Brueckner
  • Ruchi Singh

Abstract

This paper has explored the stringency of land-use regulation in US cities, focusing on building heights. Substantial stringency is present when regulated heights are far below free-market heights, while stringency is lower when the two values are closer. Using FAR as a height index, theory shows that the elasticity of the land price with respect to FAR is a proper stringency measure. This elasticity is estimated for five US cities by combining CoStar land-sales data with FAR values from local zoning maps, and the results show that New York and Washington, D.C., have stringent height regulations, while Chicago’s and San Francisco’s regulations are less stringent (Boston represents an intermediate case).

Suggested Citation

  • Jan K. Brueckner & Ruchi Singh, 2018. "Stringency of Land-Use Regulation: Building Heights in US Cities," CESifo Working Paper Series 6978, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6978
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gyourko, Joe & Krimmel, Jacob, 2021. "The impact of local residential land use restrictions on land values across and within single family housing markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    2. Simon Büchler, Maximilian v. Ehrlich, 2021. "Quantifying Land Use Regulation and its Determinants - Ease of Residential Development across Swiss Municipalities," Diskussionsschriften credresearchpaper32, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft - CRED.
    3. Remi Jedwab & Jason Barr & Jan K. Brueckner, 2020. "Cities without Skylines: Worldwide Building-Height Gaps and Their Implications," CESifo Working Paper Series 8511, CESifo.
    4. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Barr, Jason, 2022. "The economics of skyscrapers: A synthesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    5. Anthony Yezer & William Larson & Weihua Zhao, 2018. "An Examination of the Link between Urban Planning Policies and the High Cost of Housing and Labor," Working Papers 2018-6, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    6. Wenbin Huang, 2022. "Government Land Regulations and Housing Supply Elasticity in Urban China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 30(4), pages 122-148, July.
    7. Gyourko, Joseph & Hartley, Jonathan S. & Krimmel, Jacob, 2021. "The local residential land use regulatory environment across U.S. housing markets: Evidence from a new Wharton index," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    8. Josef Klement & Jan Kozák, 2022. "Vliv prostorové regulace na nabídku nového bydlení v České republice [Impact of Spatial Regulation on New Housing Supply in Czechia]," Politická ekonomie, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2022(1), pages 3-26.
    9. Franco, Sofia & Cutter, W. & Lewis, Skyler, 2020. "The Shadow Cost of Parking Minimums: Evidence from Los Angeles County," Economics Department, Working Paper Series 1014, Economics Department, Pomona College, revised 12 Aug 2020.
    10. Larson, William & Yezer, Anthony & Zhao, Weihua, 2022. "Urban planning policies and the cost of living in large cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    11. Michael D. Eriksen & Anthony W. Orlando, 2022. "Returns to Scale in Residential Construction: The Marginal Impact of Building Height," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 50(2), pages 534-564, June.
    12. Zheng, Xian & Chen, Xingtao & Yuan, Ziqing, 2021. "Exploring the spatial spillover effect of home purchase restrictions on residential land prices based on the difference-in-differences approach: Evidence from 195 Chinese cities," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    13. Moon, Byunggeor & Ahn, Sungin, 2022. "The effects of a FAR regulation in a model of durable building with redevelopment: The case of New York City," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).
    14. Camilo Andrés Acosta Mejía, 2021. "The Incidence of Land Use Regulations," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 019223, Universidad EAFIT.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    building heights; FAR; stringency; regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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