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The Causes and Consequences of Land Use Regulation: Evidence from Greater Boston

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Listed:
  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Bryce A. Ward

Abstract

Over the past 30 years, eastern Massachusetts has seen a remarkable combination of rising home prices and declining supply of new homes. The reductions in new supply don't appear to reflect a real lack of land, but instead reflect a response to man-made restrictions on development. In this paper, we examine the land-use regulations in greater Boston. There has been a large increase in the number of new regulations, which differ widely over space. Few variables, other than historical density and abundant recreational water, reliably predict these regulations. High lot sizes and other regulations are associated with less construction. The regulations boost prices by decreasing density, but density levels seem far too low to maximize total land value.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12601
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do The Poor Live In Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1891, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. William A. Fischel, 1978. "A Property Rights Approach to Municipal Zoning," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(1), pages 64-81.
    3. 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.
    4. Henry O. Pollakowski & Susan M. Wachter, 1990. "The Effects of Land-Use Constraints on Housing Prices," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(3), pages 315-324.
    5. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Katharine R E Sims & Jenny Schuetz, 2007. "Environmental Regulation and Land Use Change: Do Local Wetlands Bylaws Slow the Conversion of Open Space to Residential Uses?," CID Working Papers 18, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    2. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2013. "Do political parties matter for local land use policies?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 42-56.
    3. Kurt Paulsen, 2013. "The Effects of Growth Management on the Spatial Extent of Urban Development, Revisited," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(2), pages 193-210.
    4. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2007. "Economic and political determinants of urban expansion: Exploring the local connection," Working Papers 2007/5, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. repec:wbk:wbpubs:26520 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2012. "Lobbying, political competition, and local land supply: Recent evidence from Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 10-19.
    7. Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López & Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2014. "Do land use policies follow road construction?," Working Papers 2014/2, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    8. Glaeser, Edward L., 2008. "The Economic Approach to Cities," Working Paper Series rwp08-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. Daniel Czamanski & Rafael Roth, 2011. "Characteristic time, developers’ behavior and leapfrogging dynamics of high-rise buildings," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 46(1), pages 101-118, February.
    10. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 155-253.
    11. Saku Aura & Francis K Cheung & Shawn Ni, 2015. "Why Doesn’t the Hong Kong Government Sell More Public Land?," Working Papers 2015-11, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    12. Todd Sinai, 2010. "Feedback Between Real Estate And Urban Economics," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 423-448.
    13. Douglas J. Krupka & Kwame N. Donaldson, 2013. "Wages, Rents, And Heterogeneous Moving Costs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 844-864, January.
    14. Grimes, Arthur & Liang, Yun, 2009. "Spatial determinants of land prices: Does Auckland’s metropolitan urban limit have an effect?," MPRA Paper 68803, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. repec:adb:adbacr:2365 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Zabel, Jeffrey & Dalton, Maurice, 2011. "The impact of minimum lot size regulations on house prices in Eastern Massachusetts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 571-583.
    17. Edward L. Glaeser, 2007. "The Economics Approach to Cities," NBER Working Papers 13696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Garcia-López, Miquel-Àngel & Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2015. "Does zoning follow highways?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 148-155.
    19. Edward L. Glaeser, 2007. "Do Regional Economies Need Regional Coordination?," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000917, UCLA Department of Economics.
    20. Sims, Katharine R.E. & Schuetz, Jenny, 2009. "Local regulation and land-use change: The effects of wetlands bylaws in Massachusetts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 409-421, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • 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

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