The Effects of Minimum Lot Sizes on Housing Markets, Neighborhoods, and Individuals


In 1998, Houston reformed its subdivision ordinance to relax minimum lot sizes in parts of the city. I exploit the spatial discontinuity in where the reform was targeted and use a difference-in-differences design to analyze the effects of the reform on housing markets. I find that, where minimum lot sizes were relaxed, housing supply increased and average lot sizes decreased. Despite this increase in development, I find that prices increased. Relatedly, the resident population becomes more advantaged over time, and target neighborhoods see improved amenities. Ongoing work examines the effects on incumbents.

PhD Student

I am fifth-year PhD candidate interested in understanding how we can increase access to opportunity for all children, particularly those from disadvantaged and historically marginalized backgrounds. My research examines how public policy and political institutions can work to perpetuate or attenuate economic and racial inequality.