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The long-run impact of zoning: Institutional hysteresis and durable capital in Seattle, 1920–2015

Tate Twinam

Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2018, vol. 73, issue C, 155-169

Abstract: This paper examines the coevolution of land use and zoning in Seattle from 1920 to 2015. Multiple waves of zoning and land use conversion data at the parcel level allow for a decomposition of the long-run effects of zoning and an exploration of the mechanisms through which zoning influenced future land use. In particular, I disentangle short-run impacts on land use from long-term institutional hysteresis, showing that the latter played a sizable role in shaping future land use. Additionally, data on variances allows me to examine early compliance levels, an underexplored topic with implications for long-run impacts. While much has been written about persistence in urban form due to purely economic forces, relatively little research has explored how institutional forces can entrench or alter this trajectory, and I find that such institutional constraints can have substantial influence.

Keywords: K11; N92; R14; R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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