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Empty homes, longer commutes: the unintended consequences of more restrictive local planning

Cheshire, Paul, Hilber, Christian A. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-1352-495X and Koster, Hans R.A. (2018) Empty homes, longer commutes: the unintended consequences of more restrictive local planning. Journal of Public Economics, 158. pp. 126-151. ISSN 0047-2727

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.12.006


We investigate the impact of land use regulation on housing vacancy rates. Using a 30-year panel dataset on land use regulation for 350 English Local Authorities (LAs) and addressing potential reverse causation and other endogeneity concerns, we find that tighter local planning constraints increase local housing vacancy rates: a one standard deviation increase in restrictiveness causes the local vacancy rate to increase by 0.9 percentage points (23%). The same increase in local restrictiveness also causes a 6.1% rise in commuting distances. The results underline the interdependence of local housing and labour markets and the unintended adverse impact of more restrictive planning policies

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 the Authors
Divisions: Spatial Economics Research Centre
Centre for Economic Performance
Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R13 - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R3 - Production Analysis and Firm Location > R38 - Government Policies; Regulatory Policies
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 12:18
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2024 00:48
Projects: ES/J021342/1
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, STICERD, UK Government Department of Business Innovation and Skills, Welsh Advisory Government, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

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