Communities, Competition, Spillovers, and Open Space

Aaron Strong and Randall P. Walsh


We explore the impact of the spatial distribution of developers on the private provision of open space. Our analysis yields three main findings. First, we demonstrate that the mixed public good nature of open space (relative to private lot consumption) can lead a single land rent-maximizing developer to over-supply open space relative to the utility-maximizing level. Second, by explicitly incorporating the spatial distribution of open-space spillovers, we show how competition can lead not only to inefficient levels of open space, but also to inefficiencies in its spatial distribution. Finally, we evaluate the impact of market-based open-space instruments. (JEL H41, R14)

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