Housing Policy

With David Foster, I am engaged in a long-term project on institutions for land use regulation in the United States. In this project, we argue that nimbyism results from a bargaining failure between developers and local residents, and we propose institutional procedures to remedy this bargaining failure.

Book project: Democracy and the Housing Crisis

Exorbitant housing prices in major metropolitan areas constitute a severe governance failure in the United States. Existing research roots high housing prices in too little housing being built, and frequently blames local democratic institutions. As the argument goes, existing residents use local institutions to restrict new development—either due to the spatially concentrated costs and benefits of development or an inherent aversion to new housing. As a result, reformers seek intervention by state or federal governments to override local land use procedures, forcing localities to accept new development. In this book, we investigate the nature of opposition to new housing, how local land use institutions developed their current structure, and possible reforms to increase housing development that are consistent with local democratic decision-making.