Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Frey and colleagues outline 10 trends showing scale of America's demographic transitions

Starr says surveys intended to predict recidivism assign higher risk to poor

Prescott and colleagues find incidence of noncompetes in U.S. labor force varies by job, state, worker education


ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

Call for Proposals: Small Grants for Research Using PSID Data. Due March 2, 2015

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 9
Luigi Pistaferri, Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply

The problem with zoning: nonlinear effects of interactions between location preferences and externalities on land use and utility

Publication Abstract

Zellner, M.L., R.L. Riolo, W. Rand, Daniel Brown, S.E. Page, and L.E. Fernandez. 2010. "The problem with zoning: nonlinear effects of interactions between location preferences and externalities on land use and utility." Environment and Planning B-Planning & Design, 37(3): 408-428.

An important debate in the literature on exurban sprawl is whether low-density development results from residential demand, as operationalized by developers, or from exclusionary zoning policies. Central to this debate is the purpose of zoning, which could alternatively be a mechanism to increase the utility of residents by separating land uses and reducing spillover effects of development, or an obstacle to market mechanisms that would otherwise allow the realization of residential preferences. To shed light on this debate, we developed an agent-based model of land-use change to study how the combined effects of zoning-enforcement levels, density preferences, preference heterogeneity, and negative externalities from development affect exurban development and the utility of residents. Our computational experiments show that sprawl is not inevitable, even when most of the population prefers low densities. The presence of negative externalities consistently encourage sprawl while decreasing average utility and flattening the utility distribution. Zoning can reduce sprawl by concentrating development in specific areas, but in doing so decreases average utility and increases inequality. Zoning does not internalize externalities; instead, it contains externalities in areas of different development density so that residents bear the burden of the external effects of the density they prefer. Effects vary with residential preference distributions and levels of zoning enforcement. These initial investigations can help inform policy makers about the conditions under which zoning enforcement is preferable to free-market development and vice versa. Future work will focus on the environmental impacts of different settlement patterns and the role land-use and market-based policies play in this relationship.

DOI:10.1068/b35053 (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next