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Making—or Picking—Winners: Evidence of Internal and External Price Effects in Historic Preservation Policies



This article measures the impacts of historic preservation regulations on property values inside and outside of officially designated historic districts. The analysis relies on a model of historic designation to control for the tendency to designate higher-quality properties. An instrumental variables model using rich data on historic significance corrects for this bias. The results for Chicago during the 1990s indicate that price impacts from designation inside a landmark district vary considerably across homes inside the districts. Controlling for extant historic quality, which the market values positively, restrictions apparently have negative price effects on average both within and outside districts.