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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper

Land Use Regulation and Productivity - Land Matters: Evidence from a UK Supermarket Chain


We use store-specific data for a UK supermarket chain to estimate the impact of planning on store output. Exploiting the variation in policies between England and other UK countries, we isolate the impact of Town Centre First (TCF) policies introduced in England. We find they directly reduced output by forcing stores onto less productive sites. We estimate TCF policies imposed a loss of output of 32 percent on a representative store opening after their rigorous implementation in 1996. Additionally, we show that, household numbers constant, more restrictive local authorities have fewer stores and lower chain sales within their areas.


Paul Cheshire, Christian A. L. Hilber and Ioannis Kaplanis

20 August 2013     Paper Number SERCDP0138

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This SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper is published under the centre's Urban programme.