Property Tax and Urban Sprawl: Theory and Implications for US Cities

Reprint No. 2006:23

Author(s): Yan Song and Yves ZenouYear: 2006 Title: Journal of Urban Economics Volume (No.): 60 (3) Pages: 519–534

We develop a model that adopts a log-linear utility function with a variable elasticity of substitution greater than one and show that increasing the property tax reduces city size unambiguously. We then test this result using a dataset of effective property tax rates we developed using GIS methods for 448 urbanized areas. The empirical analysis estimates a regression equation relating an urbanized area’s size to the property tax rate measure and other control variables such as population, income, agricultural rent, and transportation expenditure. We find that higher property taxes indeed result in smaller cities.

Song, Yan and Yves Zenou (2006), "Property Tax and Urban Sprawl: Theory and Implications for US Cities". Journal of Urban Economics 60(3), 519–534.

Elgar Companion to

Social Capital and Health

Martin Ljunge okt 2018.jpg

Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se