Links to Articles, Academic Papers and Books

Rent Control


Abolishing Government Improves the Roads
by Brad Edmonds

All roads do not lead to congestion
by Jim Peron

Congestion and Road Pricing
by Walter Block

Do Roads Pay for Themselves?
by TxDOT

Free Market Transportation: Denationalizing the Roads
by Walter Block

Gasoline Taxes, Keynes, and Macroeconomics – Econtalk Podcast
Russ Roberts Interviews Gregory Mankiw

33 min into the podcast they begin to discuss gas taxes and other pigouvian taxes to address externalities of congestion and polution.

Government Highways: Unsafe at Any Speed
by Richard Barbarick

Government’s killer roads
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Highway Robbery
by Bruce Benson

Homesteading City Streets: An Exercise In Managerial Theory
by Walter Block

Liberate the Roads! The Benefits That Will Come From Road Privatisation
by Martin Ball

The Mythology of Holdout as Justification for Eminent Domain and Public Provision of Roads or [pdf]
by Bruce L. Benson

The Private Provision of Public Goods
by Donald J. Boudreaux
The Freeman – Thoughts on Freedom

scholars over the years have discovered countless historical examples of the successful private provision of public goods. Sometimes it is achieved by firms seeking monetary profit, while other times it is achieved by people cooperating for gains that are real but not monetized or exchanged in conventional markets.

New Directions in Road Privatization [pdf]
by Laurent Carnis

No More Government Roads
by David M. Woods

A Note About Roads
by Richard O. Hammer
Observations on the history of roads.

Overcoming difficulties in privatizing roads
by Walter Block

The present article considers, and rejects, four arguments against the privatization of roads, and in favor of our present system of road socialism.

A Practical Proposal for Privatizing the Highways (and Other Natural Monopolies)
by Bryan Caplan

This proposal involves giving every adult citizen (1) a common stock certificate that entitles him to a share of the privatized road corporation’s profits and (2) another certificate that allows the individual to operate one motor vehicle on the highways in exchange for an annual fee.

Private highways: a solution whose time has come (again)?
by Daniel Klein

Private ownership of ‘public’ resources may be an idea whose time has come. There are proposals for the privatization of Grand Coulee Dam, Dulles airport, Conrail, and Amtrak. State and local governments are studying private urban transit, garbage collection, and prisons. If privatization maintains its momentum, we will have to consider a logical candidate: the roads.

The Private Ownership of Public Space: The New Age of Rationally Priced Road Use [pdf]
by Brian Micklethwait

Private Roads, Competition, Automobile Insurance and Price Controls
by Walter Block

Shows that the benefits of competition for improving roadways cannot take place unless the roadways are privatized.

Privatization Further Down the Road
by Daniel B. Klein

Private roads may sound far-fetched, but a familiarity with American history casts the idea in a different light, There was a period when private enterprise was able to provide such “public goods.” Private turnpikes engendered important social benefits even though returns on investment were small, primarily due to legal restrictions on toll rates and on the placement of toll houses.

Protecting the Streets
by Murray Rothbard

What we need to do is to reorient our thinking to consider a world in which all land areas are privately owned.

Protection from Mass Murderers: Communication of Danger: A Formulation
by Richard O. Hammer

A nation in which individuals make the rules of conduct on their own property and where most property, including roads, is privately owned, would evolve into a social network that is better able to control psychopaths than the present system.

Roads Are Too Important to be Left to Governments
by Gabriel Roth

Toll roads were privately supplied two hundred years ago on a large scale in both the U.S. and the UK. Their private provision today is even more practical because modern technology enables customers to pay for road use without tollbooths, and even without vehicles having to stop.

Road Socialism [pdf]
by Walter Block

Road Socialism
Lew Rockwell Interviews Walter Block for The Lew Rockwell Podcast

Roads to Serfdom
by Jim Davies

Roads Without the State
by Peter Samuel

It is possible to bring some of the benefits of the marketplace by introducing tolls while maintaining state ownership. That is what the Germans plan for their autobahn system, and it seems to be the major British approach. But full privatization would transfer ownership to investors and allow the assets to be traded, introducing the additional market discipline of competition in both consumer and capital markets. By allowing takeovers, consolidations, and spin-offs of highway assets, the markets would ensure that highways are managed for the best return on capital—the dynamic that gives us our food, our fuels, our housing, our electric power, and all the rest of what goes into our standard of living.

Road Warrior
by Robert W. Poole, Jr.
A review of Roads in a Market Economy by Gabriel Roth

This is an important and thought-provoking book. It is bizarre that Americans have so uncritically accepted a central-planning model for our transportation infrastructure, while developing the world’s best telecommunication infrastructure using a (largely) free market model. Indeed, one of the unexpected delights of this book is a heretofore unpublished essay, included as an epilogue, by Milton Friedman and Daniel Boorstin, dating from the early 1950s, proposing both private ownership and market pricing for roads. As usual, Friedman was way ahead of most of the rest of us. Fortunately, with the publication of Gabriel Roth’s book, these ideas will gain the kind of hearing they have long deserved.

Sell the Streets
by Benjamin Powell

Every week, millions of Americans put up with long delays on crumbling roads. Most people take it for granted that if they commute to work in a major city, this is simply the way commutes have to be. They are wrong.

Street Smart: Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads
Edited by Gabriel Roth

Street Smart examines private, market-based alternatives for road services, both in theory and practice. The book explores at least four such possible directions for private services, including testing and licensing vehicles and drivers; management of government-owned road facilities; franchising; and outright private ownership. The book further traces the history of private roads in Great Britain and the United States and examines contemporary examples of entrepreneurial innovation in road pricing, privatization, and marketization in environs as diverse as Singapore, California, Ghana, Norway, and England.

Theories of Highway Safety
by Walter Block
Explains why privately owned highways would be safer.

Urban Transportation
The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
by Kenneth A. Small

What price parking?
December 18, 2006
Boston Globe

A fledgling service that would let people find and reserve parking spaces via their cellphones could make life easier for those who use it.

Rent Control

Three Fallacies of Rent Control
by Robert Batemarco”>Rent Control (The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics)
by Walter Block

Rent Control Abomination [pdf]
by Walter Block, Joseph Horton & Ethan Shorter
International Journal of Value-Based Management

Rent Control Lecture [mp3]
by Walter Block
First section of lecture is on rent control. Afterwards, lecture continues on other topics.

Does Rent Control Reduce Segregation? [pdf]
Edward L. Glaeser
Harvard Institute of Economic Research (2002)

Advocates of rent control often argue that rent control aids the mixing of rich and
poor, and perhaps of the races as well. Economic theory does not necessarily
predict that rent control will reduce segregation.

Economics in One Lesson: The Lesson Applied – What Rent Control Does
by Henry Hazlitt

Rent Control: Do Economists Agree?
by Blair Jenkins
Econ Journal Watch

A Rent Affair
by Paul Krugman, NY Times, 6-7-00

Video: 5.2 – Rent Control
by Richard McKenzie of UC Irvine
From Microeconomics for MBAs lesson modules

The High Cost of Rent Control
by National Multi Housing Council

Nevertheless, a number of communities around the country continue to impose rent controls, usually with the stated goal of preserving affordable housing for low- and middle-income families. Rent control does not advance this important goal. To the contrary, in many communities rent control has actually reduced both the quality and quantity of available housing.

Rent Control and Housing Investment: Evidence from Deregulation in Cambridge, Massachusetts
by Henry O. Pollakowski

This study, authored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economist Dr. Henry O. Pollakowski, tracks the effects of rent deregulation on construction and repair-related housing investment in Cambridge, MA since rent control ended there in 1994. Dr. Pollakowski finds that rent deregulation in Cambridge led to a 20% increase in construction and repair related investment in formerly rent-controlled buildings. This study suggests that similar deregulation in the New York City housing market should lead to significant new investment in both affluent and modest income neighborhoods, thereby increasing housing quality.

Who Really Benefits from New York City’s Rent Regulation System?
by Henry O. Pollakowski

This report examines New York City’s rent stabilization system and estimates the effects of total or partial deregulation. It finds that rent stabilization provides little benefit to residents of the outer boroughs and the lower and middle-income neighborhoods of Manhattan, while providing a substantial subsidy only to the residents of the relatively affluent areas of Lower and Mid-Manhattan.

Rent Control and Unemployment Duration
by Michael Svarer, Michael Roshlom, and Jakob Roland Munch

Particularly, we focus on the effect of rent control on the length of individual unemployment duration

Video Lecture: Price Controls
by Joseph Salerno of The Mises Institute

A fourth in a series of ten lectures, from “Fundamentals of Economic Analysis: A Causal-Realist Approach.” [1:25:30] The first 45 min is dedicated to rent control. Includes segments on how a landlord became a “serf” to his tenants, “Bomb Damage or Rent Control?”, and celebrity beneficiaries of rent control.

How Rent Control Drives Out Affordable Housing
Cato Policy Analysis No. 274
by William Tucker


The Career of Robert Moses: City Planning as a Microcosm of Socialism [pdf]
by Gene Callahan and Sanford Ikeda

The career of Robert Moses, which had a tremendous impact on the day-to-day life
of tens of millions of people, presents a paradigmatic example of the fatal conceit of
constructivist planners. All of the major pitfalls of constructivism pointed out by
Hayek, Mises, and other critics of interventionism—unintended and unwanted consequences,
the inability to calculate rationally what means to apply to achieve an
end, the abandonment of ordinary morality, and the extreme disregard for the
wishes of those whose lives are being planned—appear in sharp relief in that career.

City Views Urban studies legend Jane Jacobs on gentrification, the New Urbanism, and her legacy.
by Bill Steigerwald – Reason Magazine, June 2001

If I were to be remembered as a really important thinker of the century, the most important thing I’ve contributed is my discussion of what makes economic expansion happen. This is something that has puzzled people always. I think I’ve figured out what it is.

Conservatives and the New Urbanism
by Ruth Walker

The Death and Life of Great American Cities
by Jane Jacobs

an attack of current city planning and rebuilding

The Economics of Skyscrapers [ppt]
by Prof. Jason Barr, Rutgers University

Jane Jacobs
by Sanford Ikeda
The Freeman Online

Jane Jacobs, one of the most important and influential public intellectuals of the twentieth century, died last April, a few days shy of her ninetieth birthday. The intellectual legacy she left for social theorists is as significant as that of anyone else of her generation.

Jane Jacobs, R.I.P.
by Sanford Ikeda
National Review Online

Remembering an extraordinary intellectual.

Jane Jacobs, The Anti-Planner
by Gene Callahan and Sanford Ikeda

Jane Jacobs is one of those intellectuals who seem ever on the periphery of the libertarian movement. Her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, can be found on the shelves of many a libertarian, though often unread.

In the works of Jacobs, the order present in a well-functioning urban area emerges as the result of human action but not human design. It arises from a myriad of individuals each pursuing their own interest and carrying out their own plans, within a framework of rules that encourages peaceful cooperation over violent aggression.

Market-Oriented New Urbanism by Chris Fiscelli, Reason Foundation

New urbanists should distance themselves from the smart growth agenda

Urban Planning (FEE 2008 Applying Liberty Lecture) [mp3]
by Sanford Ikeda, Foundation for Economic Education

Why Sprawl Is a Conservative Issue
by Michael Lewyn, John Marshall Law School

The conventional conservative wisdom, as of early 2000, seems to be that
1. sprawl is merely the result of the free market at work,
2. therefore conservatives need not oppose sprawl, and
3. even if sprawl is somehow problematic, it cannot be limited without implementation of the liberal or environmentalist agenda of larger and more intrusive government.
This article rejects all three assumptions. Specifically, I argue that
1. sprawl is in fact a result of runaway statism rather than the free market;
2. conservatives should fight sprawl as a threat to conservative values such as limited government, freedom, the work ethic and social stability; and
3. conservative, free-market solutions can limit if not eliminate sprawl.


Euclid Lives? The Uneasy Legacy of Progressivism in Zoning
by Eric R. Claeys, George Mason University School of Law

a discussion of the Progressive roots of Zoning and intervention

How Overregulation Creates Sprawl (Even in a City without Zoning)
by Michael Lewyn

Houston is America’s only large city without a formal zoning code. Yet Houston is as automobile-dependent and sprawling as many cities with zoning. It could therefore be argued that automobile-dependent sprawl is the inevitable result of the free market, based on the following chain of logic: Assumption 1: Because Houston lacks zoning, Houston has an unregulated, unplanned real estate market. In other words, Houston = the free market at work. Assumption 2: Houston is an automobile-dependent, sprawling city. In other words, Houston = an example of sprawl. Conclusion: Therefore, a city, like Houston, which allows the free market to govern land use will (like Houston) typically become an automobile-dependent, sprawling city-and sprawl is thus a product of the free market, rather than of government interference with consumer preferences. In other words, because Houston = the free market at work, and Houston = sprawl, the free market leads to sprawl. The policy consequence of this chain of logic (at least for people who highly value limited government) is that government should not discourage sprawl, for what the free market has put together, government should not tear asunder. My article rebuts rebuts this conclusion by critiquing one of its underlying assumptions – the assumption that Houston is a free-market role model. In fact, a wide variety of municipal regulatory and spending policies have made Houston more sprawling and automobile-dominated than would a more free-market-oriented set of policies.

In Defense of Property Rights (6 parts)
by Warren Ross and J. Brian Philips

National League of Zoning Speach
by Mike Lewyn

The answer is politically difficult, but easy in principle: dismantle the government policies that cause the problem. Dismantle the zoning laws, dismantle the parking requirements, dismantle the whole bureaucratic empire of sprawl….

Private Cities
by J. Brian Phillips

In a free, competitive market, developers must compete to attract customers. Excessive regulations or inefficient land use will discourage potential buyers, and detract from the developer’s long-term economic self-interest. Protecting property values through deed restrictions and providing highquality, low-cost services make master-planned communities an attractive housing alternative. Thirty million Americans call them home; advocates of freedom call them a step in the right direction.

Private Cities (FEE 2008 YSC Lecture) [mp3]
by Sanford Ikeda, Foundation for Economic Education

The Real Story Behind the Standard Planning and Zoning Acts of the 1920’s [pdf]
by Ruth Knack, Stuart Meck, AICP, and Israel Stollman, AICP

[Hoover] was, in many respects, a progressive who hoped to reform society by reforming the operations of government. To some extent, in fact, the Commerce Department under Hoover could be said to be the first activist federal agency-presaging the New Deal vigor of the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Of particular importance to land-use planners is the fact that Hoover took an active role in shaping the statutes that govern American city planning.

The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society (Economics, Cognition, and Society) edited by David T. Beito, Peter Gordon, Alexander Tabarrok

A refreshing challenge to the orthodoxy that government alone can improve community life, The Voluntary City will be an essential reference for anyone interested in the future of cities, including scholars and students, policy-makers, civic and business leaders, and urban citizens.

Why is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise of House Prices [pdf]
by Edward L. Glaeser, Joseph Gyourko, and Raven Saks (Harvard University)

In Manhattan and elsewhere, housing prices have soared over the 1990s. Although rising incomes, lower interest rates, and other factors can explain the demand side of this increase, some sluggishness in the supply of apartment buildings also is needed to account for these high and rising prices. In a market dominated by high rises, the marginal cost of supplying more housing is the cost of adding an extra floor to any new building. Home building is a highly competitive industry with almost no natural barriers to entry, and yet prices in Manhattan currently appear to be more than twice their supply costs. We argue that land use restrictions are the natural explanation for this gap. We also present evidence that regulation is constraining the supply of housing in a number of other housing markets across the country. In these areas, increases in demand have not led to more housing units, but to higher prices.

Zoned Out: Regulation, Markets, and Choices in Transportation and Metropolitan Land Use & Interview
by Jonathan Levine

The U.S. puts a lot of faith in the free market and the ability of consumers to choose, but when it comes to transit-friendly, walkable neighborhoods and other ‘Smart Growth’ solution, current zoning regulations mean that Americans don’t have many choices.

The Zoning of America: Euclid V. Ambler
by Michael Allan Wolf

Wolf’s compelling account makes it clear that Euclid v. Ambler fundamentally altered how we think about the urban landscape, changed the way our cities and suburbs are organized, and left a long shadow over subsequent cases such as the controversial Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London (2005).

Zoning: The New Tyranny
by James Bovard

Modern zoning laws presume that no citizen has a right to control his own land and that every citizen has a right to control his neighbor’s land. Zoning laws have become far more invasive and restrictive in recent years. If you want to use your own land, increasingly you have to beg, bribe, and grovel to the nearest government bureaucrat. Local zoning officials are increasingly petty dictators, ruling and ruining the lives of average citizens.

Zoning is Theft
by Jim Fedako

Zoning Without Zoning
by Michael Lewyn

Although Houston is the only major American city with no formal zoning code, the city’s land use regulations have historically been nearly as meddlesome, as pro-sprawl, and as anti-pedestrian as zoning in other American cities — and have yielded similar results.

Zoning’s Steep Price [pdf]
by Edward Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko

The bulk of the evidence that we have marshaled suggests that zoning and other land-use controls are more responsible for high prices where we see them… Measures of zoning strictness are highly correlated with high prices. While all of our evidence is suggestive, not definitive, it seems to suggest that land-use regulation is responsible for high housing costs where they exist.


Green Cities, Brown Suburbs: To save the planet, build more skyscrapers—especially in California
by Edward Glaeser, City Journal – The Manhattan Institute

In other words, America’s land-use regulations bind most tightly in the places where environmental concerns should lead us to have the most growth, presumably because the same environmentalists who oppose building also like to make their cities greener.


There is a strong negative association between emissions and land use regulations. By restricting new development, the cleanest areas of the country would seem to be pushing new development towards places with higher emissions. Cities generally have significantly lower emissions than suburban areas, and the city-suburb gap is particularly large in older areas, like New York.