The Impact of Building Restrictions on Housing Affordability
The bulk of the evidence marshaled in this paper suggests that zoning, and other land-use controls, are more responsible for high prices where we see them. There is a huge gap between the price of land implied by the gap between home prices and construction costs and the price of land implied by the price differences between homes on 10,000 square feet and homes on 15,000 square feet. Measures of zoning strictness are highly correlated with high prices. Although all of our evidence is suggestive, not definitive, it seems to suggest that this form of government regulation is responsible for high housing costs where they exist.
Edward L. Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review 9, no. 2 (2003): 21–39