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The Effects of Critical Habitat Designation on Housing Supply: An Analysis of California Housing Construction Activity

  • Robert W. Paterson
  • Jeffrey E. Zabel

Under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required to designate critical habitat for listed species. Designation could result in modification to or delay of residential development projects within habitat boundaries, generating concern over potential housing market impacts. This paper draws upon a large dataset of municipal-level (FIPS) building permit issuances and critical habitat designations in California over a 13-year period to identify changes in the spatial and temporal pattern of development activity associated with critical habitat designation. We find that the proposal of critical habitat results in a 20.5% decrease in the annual supply of housing permits in the short-run and a 32.6% decrease in the long-run. Further, the percent of the FIPS area that is designated as critical habitat significantly affects the number of permits issued. We also find that the impact varies across the two periods in which critical habitat is designated and by the number of years relative to when critical habitat was first proposed.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200514.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0514.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0514
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Web page: http://ase.tufts.edu/economics

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  1. Mayer, Christopher J. & Somerville, C. Tsuriel, 2000. "Land use regulation and new construction," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 639-662, December.
  2. DiPasquale Denise & Wheaton William C., 1994. "Housing Market Dynamics and the Future of Housing Prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-27, January.
  3. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2006. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt3hh7s35m, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  4. Meese, Richard A & Wallace, Nancy E, 1997. "The Construction of Residential Housing Price Indices: A Comparison of Repeat-Sales, Hedonic-Regression and Hybrid Approaches," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 51-73, Jan.-Marc.
  5. Stephen Malpezzi, 1994. "Housing Prices, Externalities, and Regulation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 94-08, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  6. DiPasquale, Denise, 1999. "Why Don't We Know More about Housing Supply?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 9-23, January.
  7. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845 Elsevier.
  8. Mayer, Christopher J. & Somerville, C. Tsuriel, 2000. "Residential Construction: Using the Urban Growth Model to Estimate Housing Supply," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 85-109, July.
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