Monday, August 13, 2012

While I don't like the finding, I feel compelled to report that Matt Kahn finds liberals are more likely to be housing NIMBYs

I just caught up with his JUE paper on the subject.  The abstract:

Traditional explanations for why some communities block new housing construction focus on incumbent home owner incentives to block entry. Local resident political ideology may also influence community permitting decisions. This paper uses city level panel data across California metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2008 to document that liberal cities grant fewer new housing permits than observationally similar cities located within the same metropolitan area. Cities experiencing a growth in their liberal voter share have a lower new housing permit growth rate.
The paper is quite thorough, using a wide variety of specifications, and the results are quite robust. 

My research (and that of many others) shows that impediments to homebuilding are the largest cause of expensive houses.  By impeding home construction, liberals are contributing to the rent being too damn high.  Needless to say, this hurts low income households more than anyone else.