The Effects of Growth Management on the Spatial Extent of Urban Development, Revisited

Kurt Paulsen

Abstract

Does growth management result in lower marginal land consumption rates? The literature offers inconclusive and inconsistent results. This paper uses new data covering all U.S. metropolitan areas and multiple time periods to estimate panel models of effects of growth management on the spatial extent of urban development. Dummy variable estimation misleadingly suggests that growth management increases urban area extent. However, fixed-effect estimates across different growth management regimes find that more highly regulated regions and stronger planning states have lower marginal land consumption rates, while regional containment policies, as measured here, do not appear to reduce the size of urban areas. (JEL R14, R52)

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