Spatial Heterogeneity, Accessibility, and Zoning: An Empirical Investigation of Leapfrog Development

65 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2015

See all articles by Wendong Zhang

Wendong Zhang

Department of Economics, Iowa State University

Douglas H. Wrenn

Pennsylvania State University, Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Elena G. Irwin

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics

Date Written: April 21, 2014

Abstract

We investigate whether residential development patterns from a rapidly growing exurban area are consistent with the urban economic model’s predictions of leapfrog and infill development. Using historical data on subdivision development from 1960-2005 in the Baltimore, Maryland region, we develop a new, subdivision-specific measure of leapfrog development based on accessibility via the metropolitan road network. We find that early growth patterns do not conform to the predictions of the urban economic model, but that later patterns do. Although accessibility is significant, our results indicate that spatial differences in zoning rather than transportation costs were the primary determinant of these patterns. The findings suggest a different spatial growth process in exurban areas — one in which down zoning and other commonly used growth control policies introduce large and systematic spatial variations in the returns to land development that are relatively more important than transportation costs in the evolution of these residential development patterns.

Keywords: Urban spatial structure, Zoning, Sprawl, Landscape metrics

JEL Classification: R14, R12, R52

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Wendong and Wrenn, Douglas H. and Irwin, Elena G., Spatial Heterogeneity, Accessibility, and Zoning: An Empirical Investigation of Leapfrog Development (April 21, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2583853 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2583853

Wendong Zhang (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, Iowa State University ( email )

260 Heady Hall
Ames, IA 50011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/people/faculty/zhang-wendong

Douglas H. Wrenn

Pennsylvania State University, Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

Elena G. Irwin

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics ( email )

2120 Fyffe Rd
Columbus, OH 43210-1067
United States
614-292-6449 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www-agecon.ag.ohio-state.edu/people/display.cfm?User_ID=irwin78

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