With the link between land use regulations and housing prices being the topic du jour for me, I thought I'd post a link this recent paper by University of Washington economist Theo Eicher, titled Municipal and Statewide Land Use Regulations and Housing Prices Across 250 Major US Cities (2008). Table 3 (pp. 28-32) presents "Estimated Contributions to Change in Housing Prices 1989-2006" for a variety of factors, including different levels of regulation, across 250 cities. However, PLEASE NOTE that I'm not wild about the methodology of some of the Subindices in the underlying Wharton Regulatory Index that Eicher uses, and I'm even less wild about Eicher's decision to group some of the Subindices together. As a lawyer who has handled many land use cases, I know that many of the land use regulations, both at different levels (i.e., state vs. region-wide vs. local) and on the same level, are duplicative. For this and (many) other reasons, I think Eicher's estimates of the contributions of "regulation" to the change in housing prices are way too high. That said, it's very interesting from an econometrics standpoint.


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