Working papers

Finished papers:

The political economy of coastal development. (with Pierre Magontier and Elisabet Viladecans). Submitted.

Abstract: We study the role of political parties as facilitators of intergovernmental cooperation regarding the decision to develop land close to shore. Slowing down coastal development has benefits (e.g., preservation of environmental amenities) and costs (e.g., job losses), not only for residents but also for non-residents. Local governments may not consider the welfare of non-residents and therefore may not choose the right amount of development. This paper investigates how political alignment between mayors of nearby municipalities enhances the incentives to cooperate and affect development in coastal areas. We find that municipalities with aligned mayors develop less land than other municipalities. We also find that the aggregate level of development is lower in less fragmented coastal areas.


The power of developers. Evidence from California. (with Ghizlen Ouasbaa and Elisabet Viladecans). New version coming soon.

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to provide evidence on the influence wielded by the real estate industry on local housing policies. We study whether the representation in the city council of politicians with professions related to this industry (i.e., land developers, home builders, and real estate agents) influences the number and type of building permits issues and the growth in housing prices. We focus on the case of California during the period 1995-2019. We rely on a close-elections Regression Discontinuity Design for identification. We compare the marginally winning developers (non-developers) with the marginally losing non-developers (developers). We find that the entry of a developer in the city council increases the number of housing units permitted during the following four years by 65% and reduces the growth rate of housing prices during the same period by 1.7 p.p. The effect is larger for single-family homes and in places with smaller city councils and lower opposition to development, lower construction costs and less stringent regulations.


In preparation:

‘Not without my friends’: The effect of partisanship on local cooperation. (with Toni Rodon and Jaume Magre).

Political backlash against climate policy: The electoral costs of renewable energy in a multilayer government. (with Matteo Gamalerio, Daniel Favre and Pierre Magontier).