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On the origins of land use regulations: theory and evidence from US metro areas

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  • Hilber, Christian A. L.
  • Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric

Abstract

We model residential land use constraints as the outcome of a political economy game between owners of developed and owners of undeveloped land. Land use constraints benefit the former group (via increasing property prices) but hurt the latter (via increasing development costs). More desirable locations are more developed and, as a consequence of political economy forces, more regulated. Using an IV approach that directly follows from our model we find strong and robust support for our predictions. The data provide weak or no support for alternative hypotheses whereby regulations reflect the wishes of the majority of households or efficiency motives.

Suggested Citation

  • Hilber, Christian A. L. & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2009. "On the origins of land use regulations: theory and evidence from US metro areas," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28702, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28702
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    land use regulations; zoning; land ownership; housing supply;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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