California, Hawaii, Texas, Oregon, and British Columbia control land use through regional or statewide public regulatory commissions which are ostensibly to protect the positive externalities generated through the use or nondevelopment of the regulated land. But little is known about the actual effects of the commissions’ actions. The commissions have the potential to have a profound effect on societal welfare. In addition, the recent political shift favoring “states’ rights” may cause more such state commissions to be created.
This paper analyzes one effect of one land-use commission: The effect of the California Coastal Commission on the price of single family housing in one region of California. Estimates of the Coastal Commission’s effect were developed through the use of hedonic price regression analysis of housing prices and attributes in that region.