NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability

Edward L. Glaeser, Joseph Gyourko

NBER Working Paper No. 8835
Issued in March 2002
NBER Program(s):   PE

Does America face an affordable housing crisis and, if so, why? This paper argues that in much of America the price of housing is quite close to the marginal, physical costs of new construction. The price of housing is significantly higher than construction costs only in a limited number of areas, such as California and some eastern cities. In those areas, we argue that high prices have little to do with conventional models with a free market for land. Instead, our evidence suggests that zoning and other land use controls, play the dominant role in making housing expensive.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8835

Published: Glaeser, Edward L. and Joseph Gyourko. "The Impact Of Building Restrictions On Housing Affordability," FRB New York - Economic Policy Review, 2003, v9(2,Jun), 21-39.

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