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The local residential land use regulatory environment across U.S. housing markets: Evidence from a new Wharton index

Working paper #835
Joseph Gyourko, Jonathan S. Hartley and Jacob Krimmel


We report results from a new survey of local residential land use regulatory regimes for nearly 2,500 primarily suburban communities across the United States. Key stylized facts are documented and compared to findings from a previous survey (Gyourko, Saiz, Summers, 2008). We are able to observe how the local regulatory environment has changed in over 800 communities in both samples. This represents the first consistent nationwide data documenting changes in residential land use regulation at the local jurisdictional level. Finally, we discuss how these changes can and should broaden the research questions for housing and urban economists investigating the local residential land use environment.

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