Land Use Regulation: Ten Things You Need to Read

1. Reducing land-use restrictions in New York, San Francisco, and San Jose to the level of the median city would increase U.S. output by 9.7 percent.

Chiang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti, “Why Do Cities Matter?” Kreisman Working Paper Series in Housing Law and Policy,May 2015.

2. Constraints on new housing supply have reduced U.S. economic growth by more than 50 percent between 1964 and 2009.

Chiang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti, “Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation,” National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2017.

3. Restoring land-use regulation in California and New York to 1980 levels of restrictiveness would boost  aggregate U.S. productivity by as much as 7 percent and consumption by as much as 5 percent.

Kyle F. Herkenhoff, Lee E. Ohanian, and Edward C. Prescott, “Tarnishing the Golden and Empire States,” Journal of Monetary Economics, January 2018.

4. Reducing land use restrictions can deliver sizable increases in U.S. GDP.

Edward Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko, “The Economic Implications of Housing Supply,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 2018.

5. Housing supply regulations have caused a dramatic decline in the rate of income convergence across U.S. states.

Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag, “Why Has Regional Income Convergence in the U.S. Declined?” Journal of Urban Economics, November 2017.

6. The rise in the net capital share of aggregate income has come entirely from the housing sector.

Matthew Rognlie, “Deciphering the Fall and Rise in the Net Capital Share: Accumulation or Scarcity?” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2015.

7. The case for making it easier to build housing in expensive cities.

Matthew Yglesias, “There’s no good alternative to building more homes in expensive cities,” Vox, April 20, 2018.

8. Good overview of recent legislative effort in California to allow greater housing density near transit.

Cathy Reisenwitz, “Myth vs. Fact about SB 827–Unintended Consequences,” Bay City Beacon, April 8, 2018.

9. How to change the process of land-use regulation in a way that reduces the outsized influence of the NIMBY lobby.

David Schleicher, “City Unplanning,” Yale Law Journal, 2013.

10. Land-use regulation as a failure of blue-state governance.

Matthew Yglesias, “Housing affordability is Blue America’s greatest failing,” Vox, December 15, 2014.


AUTHOR: Matthew Yglesias

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