«Humanitarian Technology: Science, Systems and Global Impact 2015, HumTech2015 Commuting times and land use regulations Daniel Shoaga * and Erich ...»
Finally, we look at one way in which cities may be able to temper any negative consequences of land use regulation. In Table 3, we compare locations with and without public transit systems under the hypothesis that public transit may provide one way to mitigate stringent land-use policies. Although most cities either have or do not have subways throughout our period, we do observe some subway entry during our study period. Column 1 treats all workers in a state as having access to a subway system if any city in the state does, Column 2 only treats workers in cities with subways as having access to a subway system, Column 3 restricts the analysis to cities that ever have a subway.
Daniel Shoag and Erich Muehlegger / Procedia Engineering 107 (2015) 488 – 493 493 We find that locations with subways tend to have higher commuting times on average, reflecting the endogeneity of which cities choose to build mass-transit systems. In addition, we continue to find that land use regulation is also associated with longer commuting times. Interestingly, though, the presence of a subway attenuates the relationship between land use regulation and commuting times. In column (3), in which we focus only on cities that have a subway at some point during the study period, we find that the magnitude of the relationship between more stringent land-use regulation and commuting times decreases by two-thirds after the introduction of the subway.
A long literature in public finance and other applied fields documents the distributional consequences of public policies. This paper provides the first analysis of this type for land use regulations. Focusing on the amount of time spent commuting, a summary statistics that reflects individuals’ choices of where to live and where to work, we find that land-use regulations are associated with increases in commuting times and that the burden of increased commuting times is most heavily borne by more educated and wealthier individuals. Although commuting times are only one dimension on which the costs and benefits of land-use regulation may be distributed, this work takes a first step in understanding the regressivity or progressitivity of policies designed to influence the urban environment.
Acknowledgements The authors thank Cody Tuttle for excellent research assistance. Funding for this research was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the New England University Transportation Center.
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