Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Joseph S. DeSalvo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gabriel A. Picone, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kenneth F. Wieand, Ph.D.


land-use controls, urban sprawl, decentralization, zoning, urban model


Chapter 1 provides a discussion of definitions, criticisms, and measurements of urban sprawl. Land-use controls are surveyed in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3, we present the monocentric urban model, followed by a discussion of extensions of that model to include land-use controls. Chapter 4 is a survey of previous empirical analysis of the monocentric model, while Chapters 5 and 6 present our own empirical work.

In general, our empirical results support the theoretical predictions as well as providing support for policies to control sprawl. In particular, the results support the use of maximum lot-size zoning, urban growth boundaries, and density restrictions in the form of minimum building heights, minimum square-footage limits, maximum building permits, and minimum persons per room.

The importance of this dissertation lies in the fact that it presents the first empirical analysis of the effects of land-use controls on urban sprawl. For this reason, the findings should be of interest to urban planners in their efforts to control urban sprawl. Because we test theoretical hypotheses found in the urban economics literature, the results should also be of interest to academic economists. Finally, the data on land-use controls gathered for the empirical analysis should be of importance to researchers in urban economics.