The land-value surface in suburban Washington, D.C., changed dramatically over the decade of the 1980s. This article explains these changes in terms of the decentralization of jobs versus socioeconomic trends. Contemporaneous correlation among selected variables needs to be controlled with reduced forms and SES techniques. But all explanatory variables except distance from some unchanged point are determined simultaneously. Predetermined variables control for this double-endogeneity issue.Land values in 1990 have a U-shape with respect to distance from the U.S. Capitol Building after controlling for other variables. The data indicate that this is the result of demographic changes rather than the development of suburban employment nodes: polycentric SUE theory is rejected. Land values are an increasing function of lagged land values, a decreasing function of work at home. Moreover, work at home is attracted by low structural density and high socioeconomic status as well as low land values. This supports the argument that demographics and technological innovations have shaped the land-value surface; baby boomers are seeking low-density housing for work and family life.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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