Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Eric Helland

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© 2016 Parker Mallchok


Ideally, land use policies correct for negative externalities. However, the barriers they impose on individuals and communities have serious implications. Existing studies on this topic focus on singular, specific areas because land regulation is determined at the local level and varies extensively across the nation. Furthermore, current housing literature focuses on the “norm” of single family housing. This ignores the changing attitudes toward different types of dwellings. My study examines local regulatory environments across the nation by using Gyourko et al. 2008’s Wharton Residential Land Use Regulation Index, which develops a comparative scale for the otherwise impossibly varied regulatory environments. I also use micro data from the American Community Survey to see individual housing choices. Then, with a custom-made dataset from these two sources, I use empirical regression analysis to study the effects of land use regulation on people’s housing decisions, specifically the choice between a single-family house and a multi-family apartment complex. My results show that more restrictive regulation makes a person more likely to rent their home as well as occupy a multi-family apartment complex as opposed to a single-family home.