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LOCAL GROWTH CONTROL AT THE BALLOT BOX: REAL EFFECTS OR SYMBOLIC POLITICS?

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT: 

Growth control regulations are pervasive in local jurisdictions throughout the United States; yet there is still much uncertainty about their effectiveness in slowing down or halting growth. Moreover, there is considerable debate over whether there are unintended (or sometimes intended) exclusionary consequences that disproportionately affect minority and low-income populations. Employing multiple regression analyses, this study examines the effects of growth control ballot measures, adopted by voters, on housing growth and sociodemographic change in local jurisdictions. The findings from the multiple regression analyses reveal that cities in which growth controls were adopted at the ballot box do have slower rates of housing growth. There is also evidence that ballot box growth controls reduce growth in Hispanic and lower-income populations. Overall, the results from this study suggest that the adoption of ballot box growth controls is not merely “symbolic politics,” but has real measurable consequences on housing growth. Unfortunately, growth controls adopted by the ballot box may also contribute to the sociospatial segregation of cities by race/ethnicity and income.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9906.2007.00331.x

Affiliations: University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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