The Role of Housing in Carbon Emissions

52 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2017

See all articles by Kyle Mangum

Kyle Mangum

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

Date Written: April 2017


This paper studies the impact of regional housing and land stock allocations on carbon emissions and the role for policy therein. It first measures the role of home sizes and population densities in determining differences between U.S. urban areas in carbon footprint of their residents, which the literature has shown to be large. Then it develops a dynamic spatial equilibrium model of housing stock evolution between connected, heterogeneous markets to measure the impact of housing policies on aggregate emissions. 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 towards higher emissions cities, which offer more housing consumption on average. The paper derives emission-equivalent values for the user cost of housing, land use regulations, and carbon taxes.

Keywords: Carbon Emissions, Housing Supply, Land Use, Energy Use, Dynamic Spatial Equilibrium

JEL Classification: R11, R52, Q54, R31

Suggested Citation

Mangum, Kyle and Mangum, Kyle, The Role of Housing in Carbon Emissions (April 2017). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 17-05, 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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