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BE Seminar

Economics and Finance, Experimental and Behavioural Seminar

Economic and Ecological Impacts of Compact City Policies: A Laboratory Experiment


Laurent Denant-Boemont
Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics from the University of Rennes 1, in France. - Senior Research Fellow with CREM (Center for Research in Economics and Management), a CNRS research team in economics and business.
Research interests : behavioral economics applied to transport and urban economics -information economics and individual and group decision making - policy economic evaluation.


Abstract : We present a new strategy for evaluating the economic and ecological impacts of urban-containment policies. As spatially indexed real data render the identication of causal effects very difficult, and does not provide information on bid rent (only on equilibrium prices for housing), we design a laboratory experiment. This experiment assumes a monocentric city where households compete for housing units available at various location slots in a generalized Vickrey auction procedure. We combine various experimental treatments where exogenous regulations aiming at increasing population densities are implemented, consisting either in fixing urban boundary or setting maximum housing consumption per capita. We find that these urban-containment policies have mixed impacts by comparing them to a Business-As-Usual baseline treatment. First, housing prices are often increased by these regulations. Moreover, population size of the city may decline as a result of these policies that may entail scarcity regarding available housing space. Finally, total transport costs (and, in turn, pollution  emissions), may rise if the regulations are insufficiently sharp.

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Practical information


Université Montpellier - Faculté d'économie - salle 416
Avenue Raymond Dugrand 34960 Montpellier

Dates & time

Jun 21, 2018


Marc Willinger
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