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The preservation of historic districts—is it worth it?

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  • Waights, Sevrin

Abstract

I investigate the welfare effect of conservation areas that preserve historic districts by regulating development. Such regulation may improve the quality of life but does so by reducing housing productivity—that is, the efficiency with which inputs (land and non-land) are converted into housing services. Using a unique panel dataset for English cities and an instrumental variable approach, I find that conservation areas lead to higher house prices for given land values and building costs (lower housing productivity) and higher house prices for given wages (higher quality of life). The overall welfare impact is found to be negative.

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  • Waights, Sevrin, 2019. "The preservation of historic districts—is it worth it?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87175, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:87175
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    Cited by:

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    2. Bertacchini, Enrico & Revelli, Federico & Zotti, Roberto, 2023. "Lord, how I want to be in that number! On the blessing of UNESCO World Heritage listing," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 202304, University of Turin.
    3. Hanlon, W.Walker & Heblich, Stephan, 2022. "History and urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    4. Zhou, Yang, 2021. "The political economy of historic districts: The private, the public, and the collective," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    5. Waights, Sevrin, 2018. "Does gentrification displace poor households? An ‘identification-via-interaction’ approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88691, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Yanxin Liu & Huajiao Li & Jianhe Guan & Xueyong Liu & Yajie Qi, 2019. "The role of the world’s major steel markets in price spillover networks: an analysis based on complex network motifs," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 14(4), pages 697-720, December.
    7. Bertacchini, Enrico & Revelli, Federico & Zotti, Roberto, 2024. "The economic impact of UNESCO World Heritage: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    housing; planning; regulation; historic preservation; construction; land;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H89 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Other
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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