Do Land Use Restrictions Increase Restaurant Quality and Diversity?
There is significant evidence that restrictions on residential land use reduce housing supply, increase house prices, and limit inflows of low‐income households. Local decision‐makers often argue that their efforts are merely attempts to preserve local amenities. We provide evidence that there is some truth to this claim: that residents of cities with more restrictions on land use appear to have access to higher‐quality and more‐diverse restaurants. In the process we develop measures of restaurant quality based on organically generated data that, while strongly correlated with expert assessments, are more easily calculated at high frequencies and levels of geographic granularity.