Research Discussion Paper – RDP 2011-03 Urban Structure and Housing Prices: Some Evidence from Australian Cities Abstract

This paper studies determinants of some aspects of the structure of cities, including density and the price of land and housing. We use a version of the Alonso-Muth-Mills model, calibrated to broadly match some of the features of a representative large city. While the calibrated model omits many real-world features, it can nonetheless be used to explore the impact of factors such as: (i) the provision of transport infrastructure; (ii) zoning policies that limit housing density; (iii) frictions on the production of housing; and (iv) population size. The empirical section of the paper shows that the model is consistent with some empirical regularities for large Australian cities. The results of the paper draw attention to structural factors that may have contributed to developments in the Australian housing market in recent years.

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