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Economic and political determinants of urban expansion: Exploring the local connection

  • Albert Solé-Ollé

    ()

    (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB); Universitat de Barcelona (UB))

  • Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal

    ()

    (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB); Universitat de Barcelona (UB))

We examine the economic and political determinants of decisions taken by local governments regarding the amount of new land to be assigned for development. The analysis draws on a massive database, which includes more than 2,000 Spanish municipalities during the 1999-2003 term-of-office. The increase in developable land in this period is explained using a wide set of variables that capture the specific traits of each municipality in 1999. The variables were selected following a review of recommendations made in the literature on urban growth controls and by taking into account other factors that might be considered specific to Spain. Our results show that urban expansion is influenced by a variety of factors. Thus, the communities found to be expanding most: (i) are rich, (ii) have more new housing purchasers, (iii) are in a weak financial position, (iv) are controlled by parties to the right of the political spectrum, (v) have a low electoral turnout and local government bodies that do not face serious electoral competition, and (vi) have more land but a lower proportion of environmentally valuable land.

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File URL: http://ieb.ub.edu/aplicacio/fitxers/2007/11/Doc2007-5.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2007/5.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2007/11/doc2007-5
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  1. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2004. "Central Cities as Engines of Metropolitan Area Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 321-350.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Persson, Torsten & Sturm, Daniel M, 2005. "Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 5138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Ladd, Helen F., 1994. "Fiscal impacts of local population growth: A conceptual and empirical analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 661-686, December.
  8. Peter Mieszkowski & Edwin S. Mills, 1993. "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 135-147, Summer.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2061, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. John Carruthers, 2003. "Growth at the fringe: The influence of political fragmentation in United States metropolitan areas," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 82(4), pages 475-499, November.
  11. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745, 05.
  12. John Carruthers, 2003. "Growth at the fringe: The influence of political fragmentation in United States metropolitan areas," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 82(4), pages 475-499, November.
  13. Christian A. L. Hilber & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Homeownership and land use controls: a dynamic model with voting and lobbying," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4382, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. 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.
  15. John I. Carruthers, 2002. "Fragmentation and Sprawl: Evidence from Interregional Analysis," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 312-340.
  16. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Albert Solé Ollé, 2005. "The effects of party competition on budget outcomes: Empirical evidence from local governments in Spain," Working Papers 2005/2, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  18. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  19. Jan K. Brueckner, 1990. "Growth Controls and Land Values in an Open City," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(3), pages 237-248.
  20. Brueckner, Jan K. & Lai, Fu-Chuan, 1996. "Urban growth controls with resident landowners," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 125-143, April.
  21. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633, May.
  22. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "The Causes and Consequences of Land Use Regulation: Evidence from Greater Boston," NBER Working Papers 12601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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