Sprawl, Blight and the Role of Urban Containment Policies: Evidence from US Cities

IEB Working Paper No. 2013/002

40 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2013

See all articles by Miriam Hortas-Rico

Miriam Hortas-Rico

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

Date Written: February 18, 2013


US post-war suburbanization has reshaped the spatial pattern of growth in many metropolitan areas, with population and employment shift toward the suburbs resulting in the urban decay of central cities. This being the case, the adoption of adequate anti-sprawl policies should lead to a reduction in city blight. Availability of detailed blight measures at the city level enables us to undertake a novel empirical analysis to test this hypothesis. The empirical specification presented here identifies the specific impact of more stringent anti-sprawl policies adopted at the metro-level, proxied by the adoption of urban containment policies, on city blight. Results indicate that the adoption of such policies have effectively contributed to the reduction of downtown deterioration.

Keywords: Blight, urban sprawl, urban containment policies

JEL Classification: R14, R30, R52

Suggested Citation

Hortas-Rico, Miriam, Sprawl, Blight and the Role of Urban Containment Policies: Evidence from US Cities (February 18, 2013). IEB Working Paper No. 2013/002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2341686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2341686

Miriam Hortas-Rico (Contact Author)

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) ( email )

Campus de Somosaguas
Madrid, Madrid 28223

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