Zoning Rules!: The Economics Of Land Use Regulation

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  • Publish Date: 2015-07-10
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: William A. Fischel

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Zoning has for a century enabled cities to chart their own course. It is a useful and popular institution, enabling homeowners to protect their main investment and provide safe neighborhoods. As home values have soared in recent years, however, this protection has accelerated to the degree that new housing development has become unreasonably difficult and costly. The widespread Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome is driven by voters excessive concern about their home values and creates barriers to growth that reach beyond individual communities. The barriers contribute to suburban sprawl, entrench income and racial segregation, retard regional immigration to the most productive cities, add to national wealth inequality, and slow the growth of the American economy. Some state, federal, and judicial interventions to control local zoning have done more harm than good. More effective approaches would moderate voters demand for local-land use regulationby, for example, curtailing federal tax subsidies to owner-occupied housing.

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