NIMBYism and Economic Ignorance

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Ilya Somin

“Zoning restrictions on the construction of new housing inflict immense harm by cutting off millions of people from housing, educational, and job opportunities. Even current homeowners who have no desire to move can often benefit from deregulation. Nonetheless, NIMBY (‘not in my backyard’) sentiments are a major obstacle to new construction and often block reform. The standard explanation for NIMBYism is that current homeowners rationally conclude that new construction is inimical to their interests, even if benefits society as a whole. But, ‘Folk Economics and the Persistence of Political Opposition to New Housing,’ a new article by legal scholar Chris Elmendorf and political scientists Clayton Nall and Stan Oklobdzija finds that simple economic ignorance is a a major factor.” (11/13/22)