America's Frozen Neighborhoods


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The Abuse of Zoning

Robert C. Ellickson

View Inside Format: Hardcover
Price: $40.00
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This book examines local zoning policies and suggests reforms that states and the federal government might adopt to counter the negative effects of exclusionary zoning

In this book, Robert Ellickson asserts that local zoning policies are the most consequential regulatory program in the United States. Many localities have created barriers to the development of less costly forms of housing. Numerous economists have found that current zoning practices inflict major damage on the national economy. Using Silicon Valley, the Greater New Haven area, and the northwestern portion of Greater Austin as case studies, Ellickson shows in unprecedented detail how the zoning system works and recommends steps for its reform. Zoning regulations, Ellickson demonstrates, are hard to dislodge once localities have enacted them. He develops metrics to measure the existence and costs of exclusionary zoning, and suggests reforms that states and the federal government could undertake to counter the detrimental effects of local policies. These include the cartelization of housing markets and the aggravation of racial and class segregation.

Robert C. Ellickson is Walter E. Meyer Professor Emeritus of Property and Urban Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He is the author of Order without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes.

“This timely, insightful, and intensively researched book is must-reading for anyone interested in how America’s wealthiest homeowners use zoning to maintain the profitable status quo.”—Bill Fischel, author of The Homevoter Hypothesis

“A landmark project from one of the nation’s foremost property law scholars, this book sheds remarkable new light on the obduracy of exclusionary zoning.”—Chris Elmendorf, University of California, Davis

“Ellickson’s rich and nuanced study of how zoning actually works, accessible review of the dangers the misuse of zoning poses, and insightful prescriptions for reforming a system gone awry is a must read for all policymakers.”—Vicki Been, former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, City of New York 

“Weaving together zoning histories across multiple metro areas, Ellickson provides searing indictments of our system of stagnant land-use regulation and offers real solutions. A must-read for land-use scholars and policymakers alike.”—Maureen Brady, Harvard Law School  
ISBN: 9780300249880
Publication Date: October 18, 2022
320 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
9 b/w illus.