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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Local Land Use Controls and Demographic Outcomes in a Booming Economy


The article analyses the link between autarchic land-use policies adopted by local governments in California and the substantial redistribution of its population during the decade of the 1990s. Changes in population growth by racial and ethnic group in California cities are related to measures of the extent to which locally adopted policy favours expansion of the single-family housing stock. Controlling for the initial conditions of housing and labour markets by relying upon census measures for 1990, the paper accounts for the potential endogeneity of contemporaneous land-use policies by relying upon exogenous measures of the ‘exclusivity’ and ‘pro-growth’ propensities of the local public sector recorded by a state-wide survey in the early 1990s.

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