NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Zoning and the Economic Geography of Cities

Allison Shertzer, Tate Twinam, Randall P. Walsh

NBER Working Paper No. 22658
Issued in September 2016
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Public Economics

Comprehensive zoning is ubiquitous in U.S. cities, yet we know surprisingly little about its long-run impacts. We provide the first attempt to measure the causal effect of land use regulation over the long term, using as our setting Chicago’s first (1923) comprehensive zoning ordinance. Our results indicate that zoning has had a broader and more significant impact on the spatial distribution of economic activity than was previously believed. In particular, zoning may be more important than either geography or transportation networks – the workhorses of urban economic geography models – in explaining where commercial and industrial activity are located.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22658

Published: Allison Shertzer & Tate Twinam & Randall P. Walsh, 2018. "ZONING AND THE ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY OF CITIES," Journal of Urban Economics, .

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