Office Space Supply Restrictions in Britain: The Political Economy of Market Revenge
Office space in Britain is the most expensive in the world and regulatory constraints are the obvious explanation. We estimate the ‘regulatory tax’ for 14 British and 8 continental European office locations. The values for Britain are substantially greater than elsewhere. Exploiting panel data, we provide strong support for our hypothesis that the regulatory tax varies according to local prosperity and its responsiveness to this depends on whether an area is controlled by business interests or residents. Our results also imply that the cost to office occupiers of the 1990 conversion of commercial property taxes from a local to a national basis exceeded any plausible rise in property taxes.