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There is significant evidence that restrictions on residential land use reduce housing supply, increase house prices, and limit inflows of low-income households. Local decision-makers often argue that their efforts are mere attempts to preserve local amenities. We provide evidence that there is some truth to this claim: that residents of cities with more restrictions on land use appear to have access to higher-quality and more diverse restaurants. In the process, we develop measures of restaurant quality based on organically generated data that, while strongly correlated with expert assessments, are more easily calculated at high frequencies and levels of geographic granularity.


Shoag, Daniel, and Stan Veuger. "Do Land Use Restrictions Increase Restaurant Quality and Diversity?" Journal of Regional Science 59.3 (June 2019): 435-451.