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Decomposing the growth in residential land in the United States

  • Henry G. Overman
  • Diego Puga
  • Matthew A. Turner

This paper decomposes the growth in land occupied by residences in the United States to give the relative contributions of changing demographics versus increases in the land area used by individual households. Between 1976 and 1992 the amount of residential land in the United States grew 47.5% while population only grew 17.8%. At first glance, this suggests an important role for per household increases. However, the calculations in this paper show that only 24.3% of the growth in residential land area can be attributed to State level changes in land per household. 37.5% is due to overall population growth, 5.9% to the shift of population towards States with larger houses, 22.7% to an increase in the number of households over this period, and the remaining 9.5% to interactions between these changes. There are large differences across states and metropolitan areas in the relative importance of these components.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-278.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-278
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Stephen J Redding & Peter K Schott & Andrew B Bernard, 2007. "Multi-product Firms and Trade Liberalization," 2007 Meeting Papers 44, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. L. Rachel Ngai & Roberto M. Samaniego, 2006. "An R&D-Based Model of Multi-Sector Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0762, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Lawrence Santi, 1988. "The demographic context of recent change in the structure of American households," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 509-519, November.
  4. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jan Oosterhaven & Jan Van Der Linden, 1997. "European Technology, Trade and Income Changes for 1975-85: An Intercountry Input-Output Decomposition," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 393-412.
  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:587-633 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. 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.
  8. Frances Kobrin, 1976. "The fall in household size and the rise of the primary individual in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 127-138, February.
  9. Leiwen Jiang & Brian C. O'Neill, 2007. "Impacts of Demographic Trends on US Household Size and Structure," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(3), pages 567-591.
  10. Erik Dietzenbacher & Bart Los, 1998. "Structural Decomposition Techniques: Sense and Sensitivity," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 307-324.
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