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Abstract for:

On the Origins of Land Use Regulations: Theory and Evidence from US Metro Areas

Christian A. L.  Hilber,  Frédéric  Robert-Nicoud,  December 2009
Paper No' CEPDP0964: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Land use regulations; zoning, land ownership, housing supply

JEL Classification: H7; Q15; R52

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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We model residential land use constraints as the outcome of a political economy game between owners of developed and owners of undeveloped land. Land use constraints benefit the former group (via increasing property prices) but hurt the latter (via increasing development costs). More desirable locations are more developed and, as a consequence of political economy forces, more regulated. Using an IV approach that directly follows from our model we find strong and robust support for our predictions. The data provide weak or no support for alternative hypotheses whereby regulations reflect the wishes of the majority of households or efficiency motives.