Increasing Returns, Land Use Controls and Housing Prices
The Chinese government has been active in trying to cool the alleged bubbles in its housing markets, especially in urban areas. This paper argues that the high housing prices are at least partly caused by some real factors, including the policy of restricting land uses, in particular the maintenance of a minimum overall agricultural acreage. A simple model of three sectors (housing, agriculture, and others) is constructed to examine the effects of the artificial constraint. The role of increasing returns in the non-agricultural sectors in exacerbating the policy biases is also examined. The model is then calibrated to estimate the effects of land use control policy on housing prices in China.
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