IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/86364.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Institutional settings and urban sprawl: evidence from Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Ehrlich, Maximilian V.
  • Hilber, Christian A. L.
  • Schöni, Olivier

Abstract

This article explores the role of institutional settings in determining spatial variation in urban sprawl across Europe. We first synthesize the emerging literature that links land use policies and local fiscal incentives to urban sprawl. Next, we compile a panel dataset on various measures of urban sprawl for European countries using high-resolution satellite images. We document substantial variation in urban sprawl across countries. This variation remains roughly stable over the period of our analysis (1990-2012). Urban sprawl is particularly pronounced in emerging Central and Eastern Europe but is comparatively low in Northern European countries. Urban sprawl – especially outside functional urban areas – is strongly negatively associated with real house price growth, suggesting a trade-off between urban containment and housing affordability. Our main novel empirical findings are that decentralization and local political fragmentation are significantly positively associated with urban sprawl. Decentralized countries have a 25 to 30 percent higher sprawl index than centralized ones. This finding is consistent with the proposition that in decentralized countries fiscal incentives at local level may provide strong incentives to permit residential development at the outskirts of existing developments

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrlich, Maximilian V. & Hilber, Christian A. L. & Schöni, Olivier, 2018. "Institutional settings and urban sprawl: evidence from Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86364, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:86364
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/86364/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cheshire, Paul & Sheppard, Stephen, 2002. "The welfare economics of land use planning," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 242-269, September.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
    3. Katharina Knoll & Moritz Schularick & Thomas Steger, 2017. "No Price Like Home: Global House Prices, 1870-2012," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 331-353, February.
    4. Christoph Basten & Maximilian Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2017. "Income Taxes, Sorting and the Costs of Housing: Evidence from Municipal Boundaries in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(601), pages 653-687, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Voith, Richard & Gyourko, Joseph, 2002. "Capitalization of federal taxes, the relative price of housing, and urban form: density and sorting effects," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 673-690, November.
    7. Song, Yan & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "Property tax and urban sprawl: Theory and implications for US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 519-534, November.
    8. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527, Elsevier.
    9. Rohlin, Shawn & Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Ross, Amanda, 2014. "Tax avoidance and business location in a state border model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 34-49.
    10. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296.
    11. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2009. "The causes and consequences of land use regulation: Evidence from Greater Boston," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 265-278, May.
    12. Christopher R. Cunningham, 2007. "Growth Controls, Real Options, and Land Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 343-358, May.
    13. Nathalie Girouard & Mike Kennedy & Paul van den Noord & Christophe André, 2006. "Recent House Price Developments: The Role of Fundamentals," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 475, OECD Publishing.
    14. Mayer, Christopher J. & Somerville, C. Tsuriel, 2000. "Land use regulation and new construction," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 639-662, December.
    15. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 1995. "Strategic growth controls," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 435-460, August.
    16. 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.
    17. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633.
    18. Pablo D Fajgelbaum & Eduardo Morales & Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen Zidar, 2019. "State Taxes and Spatial Misallocation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 333-376.
    19. Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Mittermaier, Ferdinand & Rincke, Johannes, 2012. "Fiscal competition over taxes and public inputs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 407-419.
    20. Christian A. L. Hilber & Wouter Vermeulen, 2016. "The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 358-405, March.
    21. Christian A. L. Hilber, 2017. "The Economic Implications of House Price Capitalization: A Synthesis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 45(2), pages 301-339, April.
    22. Engle, Robert & Navarro, Peter & Carson, Richard, 1992. "On the theory of growth controls," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 269-283, November.
    23. Paul C. Cheshire, 2013. "Land market regulation: market versus policy failures," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 170-188, September.
    24. Dempsey, Judith A. & Plantinga, Andrew J., 2013. "How well do urban growth boundaries contain development? Results for Oregon using a difference-in-difference estimator," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 996-1007.
    25. Bucovetsky, S., 2005. "Public input competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1763-1787, September.
    26. Bracke, Philippe, 2013. "How long do housing cycles last? A duration analysis for 19 OECD countries," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 213-230.
    27. Fenge, Robert & von Ehrlich, Maximilian & Wrede, Matthias, 2009. "Public input competition and agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 621-631, September.
    28. Glaeser, Edward L & Gyourko, Joseph & Saks, Raven, 2005. "Why Is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in Housing Prices," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 331-369, October.
    29. Gyourko, Joseph & Molloy, Raven, 2015. "Regulation and Housing Supply," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1289-1337, Elsevier.
    30. Coomes, Paul A. & Hoyt, William H., 2008. "Income taxes and the destination of movers to multistate MSAs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 920-937, May.
    31. Brueckner, Jan K. & Sridhar, Kala Seetharam, 2012. "Measuring welfare gains from relaxation of land-use restrictions: The case of India's building-height limits," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1061-1067.
    32. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(1), pages 89-101, March.
    33. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    34. 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.
    35. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 89-101, March.
    36. Quigley, John M. & Rosenthal, Larry A., 2005. "The Effects of Land-Use Regulation on the Price of Housing: What Do We Know? What Can We Learn?," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt90m9g90w, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    37. Paul Cheshire & Stephen Sheppard, 2005. "Introducing Price Signals into Land Use Planning Decision-making - a Proposal," ERSA conference papers ersa05p42, European Regional Science Association.
    38. Moss, William G., 1977. "Large lot zoning, property taxes, and metropolitan area," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 408-427, October.
    39. Irwin, Elena G. & Bockstael, Nancy E., 2004. "Land use externalities, open space preservation, and urban sprawl," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 705-725, November.
    40. Burnes, Daria & Neumark, David & White, Michelle J., 2012. "Fiscal Zoning, Sales Taxes, and Employment: Do Higher Sales Taxes Lead to More Jobs in Retailing and Fewer Jobs in Manufacturing?," IZA Discussion Papers 6383, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    41. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2005. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 323-328, May.
    42. Elisabete A. Silva & Ransford A. Acheampong, 2015. "Developing an Inventory and Typology of Land-Use Planning Systems and Policy Instruments in OECD Countries," OECD Environment Working Papers 94, OECD Publishing.
    43. Brueckner, Jan K., 1998. "Testing for Strategic Interaction Among Local Governments: The Case of Growth Controls," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 438-467, November.
    44. Christoph Basten & Maximilian Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2017. "Income Taxes, Sorting and the Costs of Housing: Evidence from Municipal Boundaries in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(601), pages 653-687, May.
    45. Cheshire, P. C. & Sheppard, Stephen Charles, 2005. "The introduction of price signals into land use planning decision-making : a proposal," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 568, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    46. Matthew A. Turner & Andrew Haughwout & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2014. "Land Use Regulation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(4), pages 1341-1403, July.
    47. Marin V. Geshkov & Joseph S. DeSalvo, 2012. "The Effect Of Land-Use Controls On The Spatial Size Of U.S. Urbanized Areas," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 648-675, October.
    48. Brueckner, Jan K., 1995. "Strategic control of growth in a system of cities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 393-416, July.
    49. Cheshire, Paul & Hilber, Christian A.L. & Koster, Hans R.A., 2018. "Empty homes, longer commutes: The unintended consequences of more restrictive local planning," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 126-151.
    50. McConnell, Virginia & Walls, Margaret & Kopits, Elizabeth, 2006. "Zoning, TDRs and the density of development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 440-457, May.
    51. Brueckner, Jan K & Fansler, David A, 1983. "The Economics of Urban Sprawl: Theory and Evidence on the Spatial Sizes of Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 479-482, August.
    52. Pasha, Hafiz A., 1996. "Suburban Minimum Lot Zoning and Spatial Equilibrium," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-12, July.
    53. Benoy Jacob & Daniel McMillen, 2015. "Border Effects in Suburban Land Use," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 68(3S), pages 855-874, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dascher, Kristof, 2019. "Function Follows Form," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 131-140.
    2. Fan, Jianshuang & Zhou, Lin, 2019. "Three-dimensional intergovernmental competition and urban sprawl: Evidence from Chinese prefectural-level cities," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    3. Silvia Beghelli & Gianni Guastella & Stefano Pareglio, 2020. "Governance fragmentation and urban spatial expansion: Evidence from Europe and the United States [Governance-Fragmentierung und urbane räumliche Expansion: Erkenntnisse aus Europa und den USA]," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 40(1), pages 13-32, April.
    4. Qian Zhang & Huaxing Zhang & Dan Zhao & Baodong Cheng & Chang Yu & Yanli Yang, 2019. "Does Urban Sprawl Inhibit Urban Eco-Efficiency? Empirical Studies of Super-Efficiency and Threshold Regression Models," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(20), pages 1-18, October.
    5. Moroni, Stefano & Minola, Luca, 2019. "Unnatural sprawl: Reconsidering public responsibility for suburban development in Italy, and the desirability and possibility of changing the rules of the game," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 104-112.
    6. Yan, Siqi & Peng, Jianchao & Wu, Qun, 2020. "Exploring the non-linear effects of city size on urban industrial land use efficiency: A spatial econometric analysis of cities in eastern China," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    7. Melika Mehriar & Houshmand Masoumi & Inmaculada Mohino, 2020. "Urban Sprawl, Socioeconomic Features, and Travel Patterns in Middle East Countries: A Case Study in Iran," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(22), pages 1-20, November.
    8. Rémy Le Boennec & Sterenn Lucas, 2020. "Does a positive density perception increase the probability of living in the ideal housing type? Evidence from the Loire-Atlantique Département in France," Working Papers hal-02441513, HAL.
    9. Cheshire, Paul C. & Hilber, Christian A. L., 2018. "Housing in Europe: a different continent - a continent of differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 90645, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Arata, Linda & Diluiso, Francesca & Guastella, Gianni & Pareglio, Stefano & Sckokai, Paolo, 2021. "Willingness to pay for alternative features of land-use policies: the case of the lake Garda region," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gyourko, Joseph & Molloy, Raven, 2015. "Regulation and Housing Supply," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1289-1337, Elsevier.
    2. 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.
    3. Molloy, Raven, 2020. "The effect of housing supply regulation on housing affordability: A review," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    4. Christian A. L. Hilber, 2019. "Immobilienpreise und Immobilienzyklen und die Rolle von Angebotsbeschränkungen [The impact of local supply constraints on house prices and price dynamics]," Zeitschrift für Immobilienökonomie (German Journal of Real Estate Research), Springer;Gesellschaft für Immobilienwirtschaftliche Forschung e. V., vol. 5(1), pages 37-65, November.
    5. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Zhi & Zhang, Qinghua, 2017. "To build above the limit? Implementation of land use regulations in urban China," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 223-233.
    6. Miriam Hortas-Rico, 2015. "Sprawl, Blight, And The Role Of Urban Containment Policies: Evidence From U.S. Cities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 298-323, March.
    7. Christian A. L. Hilber, 2017. "The Economic Implications of House Price Capitalization: A Synthesis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 45(2), pages 301-339, April.
    8. Christian A. L. Hilber & Wouter Vermeulen, 2016. "The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 358-405, March.
    9. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 405-465, Elsevier.
    10. Cheshire, Paul & Hilber, Christian A.L. & Koster, Hans R.A., 2018. "Empty homes, longer commutes: The unintended consequences of more restrictive local planning," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 126-151.
    11. Sandy Fréret & Denis Maguain, 2017. "The effects of agglomeration on tax competition: evidence from a two-regime spatial panel model on French data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(6), pages 1100-1140, December.
    12. David Christafore & Susane Leguizamon, 2015. "Spatial Spillovers of Land Use Regulation in the United States," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 491-503, June.
    13. Devin Bunten, 2017. "Is the Rent Too High? Aggregate Implications of Local Land-Use Regulation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-064, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. Redoano, Michela, 2003. "Fiscal Interactions Among European Countries," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 680, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    15. Wang, Jian & Wu, Qun & Yan, Siqi & Guo, Guancheng & Peng, Shangui, 2020. "China’s local governments breaking the land use planning quota: A strategic interaction perspective," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    16. Christian A. L. Hilber & Andreas Mense, 2021. "Why have house prices risen so much more than rents in superstar cities?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1743, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    17. Anenberg, Elliot & Kung, Edward, 2020. "Can more housing supply solve the affordability crisis? Evidence from a neighborhood choice model," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    18. Lin, Yatang & Qin, Yu & Yang, Yang & Zhu, Hongjia, 2020. "Can price regulation increase land-use intensity? Evidence from China's industrial land market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    19. Jackson, Kristoffer, 2016. "Do land use regulations stifle residential development? Evidence from California cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 45-56.
    20. Karen Crabbé, 2013. "Are Your Firm´s Taxes Set in Warsaw? Spatial Tax Competition in Europe," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(3), pages 317-337, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decentralization; Housing supply; Supply constraints; Land use regulation; Urban sprawl; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:86364. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.