The open society and its enemies

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“Most Americans have never given much thought to residential zoning, and have little idea as to what it is all about. Gray punctures many myths about zoning. For instance, zoning rules were not set up to prevent polluting factories from locating near residential neighborhoods — there were already public nuisance rules against that sort of thing prior to the first zoning laws in 1916. Rather, zoning rules are aimed at making cities less dense than they would be in a free market, and imposing strict economic segregation — basically keeping the poor as far away as possible. Studies suggest that zoning regulations dramatically reduce America’s GDP by sharply increasing housing prices in our most productive areas, making the country significantly poorer than it would be with free housing market.” (09/17/22)