Hilber, Christian A. L. and Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric (2007) Homeownership and land use controls: a dynamic model with voting and lobbying. Research papers in environmental and spatial analysis, 119. Geography and Environment Department, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753019809 (Unpublished)
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Homeowners have incentives to control and limit local land development and anecdotic evidence suggests that ‘homevoters’ indeed actively support restrictive measures. Yet, US metro area level homeownership rates are strongly negatively related to corresponding measures of the restrictiveness of land use regulation. To shed light on these seemingly contradictory stylized facts, we present a dynamic model with a planning board that maximizes a weighted social welfare function (SWF). The SWF can be interpreted as the reduced form of various political economy models of voting and lobbying. We consider three special cases: a median voter model, a probabilistic voting model, and an ‘influence for sale’ model. In all three cases conditions exist that predict outcomes which are consistent with the presented stylized facts. Generally, our model predicts that the homeownership rate has an ambiguous effect on the regulatory restrictiveness.
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