The Role of Housing in Urban Carbon Emissions

72 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2016

See all articles by Kyle Mangum

Kyle Mangum

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Date Written: September 2016


U.S. cities vary markedly in per capita rates of carbon dioxide emissions. This paper studies the impact of regional housing and land stock allocations on urban carbon emissions. It develops a dynamic spatial equilibrium model of housing stock evolution between connected, heterogenous markets and proposes a solution method for the model, which is otherwise intractable with a large number of locations. The model is used to measure the impact of housing policies on carbon emission rates. The main finding is that policies incentivizing an intensive use of housing have direct effects on carbon emission by increasing energy usage and creating lower density cities, and indirectly, these tilt population allocation across cities towards those offering high housing consumption, which have higher emission rates on average. The paper derives emission-equivalent values for the user cost of housing, land use regulations, and carbon taxes.

Keywords: land use, energy use, carbon emissions, housing supply dynamic spatial equilibrium

JEL Classification: R11, R52, Q54, R31

Suggested Citation

Mangum, Kyle and Mangum, Kyle, The Role of Housing in Urban Carbon Emissions (September 2016). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 16-15, Available at SSRN: or

Kyle Mangum (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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