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Regulation and the Rise of Housing Prices in Greater Boston: A study based on new data from 187 communities in eastern Massachusetts

This paper is part of the Initiative on Local Housing Regulation, a joint effort of the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research and Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. As part of this initiative, researchers at the Pioneer Institute and the Rappaport Institute have assembled and coded a database on zoning codes, subdivision requirements, and enviormental regulations that as of 2004 governed land use in 187 communities in eastern and central Massachusetts. The searchabl database is available at The site also housing summary reports, analyses of the data, and a downloadable version in formats that can be used for economic analyses. In coming months, Pioneer Institute and the Rappaport Institute will also be issuing papers and policy briefs, […]

Residential Land-Use Regulation in Eastern Massachusetts: A Study of 187 Communities

Local housing regulations concerning zoning, road design and installation, and the environment play a fundamental role in housing development in Massachusetts. National studies have indicated that in some regions of the country, including Massachusetts, municipalities have used regulations to restrict the supply of housing, thus driving up prices. Since as far back as 1969, when Massachusetts policymakers passed Chapter 40B, the “Anti-Snob Zoning Ac,” policymakers have been concerned that municipal zoning does not allow the market to meet the range of housing needs, particularly for low-income households. More recently, “smart growth” advocates have argued that local regulations favorted low-desnsity residential development are causing the loss of forest and agricultural land in ecologically sensitive areas in Massachusetts. Yet, despite the persistence […]

Massachusetts Private School Survey: Gauging Capacity and Interest in Vouchers

If a voucher program were launched in Massachusetts, how many private schools would participate in the first year? How many seats would be initially available for eligible students? Would participating schools be located near the students most in need of a new schooling option? This paper takes up the practical question of whether sufficient private school seats would be availible for a coucher initiative to get off the ground in Massachusetts. To collect the necessary data, Pioneer Instittue designed and conducted a survey of the 524 private, K-12 non-special education schools in Massachusetts. One hundred ninety-four schools serving a total of 50,435 K-12 students responded to the survey, representing 37 percent of all K-12 non-special education private schools in Massachusetts […]

A Roadmap to Financing

Collaboration Between Springifled Community-Based Business Advisors, Citizens Bank, Hampden Bank and Westbank. This manual was prepared as part of the Urban Business Alliance (UBA) – a unique initiative of Pioneer’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship that helps low- and moderate- income entrepreneurs by bolstering the skills of the community-based business advisors they look for assistance. For more information about the program, please contact: Alla Yakovlev, Director, Pioneer’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship Elizabeth Thorton, Program Coordinator and CEO Entrenpreneurship Advantage, Inc., ehornton@entrepreneurship[wpdm_package id=346]

Massachusetts Collaboratives: Making the Most of Education Dollars

BY M. CRAIG STANLEY, ED.D. Foreword by E. Robert Stephens Institute for Regional Studies in Education Educational service agencies (ESAs)—known as “educational collaboratives” in Massachusetts—have proven very efficient at providing high-quality education support services. By assuming many of the routine support functions required to run a public education system, educational service agencies free up the Commonwealth’s Department of Education to provide leadership and Massachusetts school districts to provide quality student instruction. Studies that compare the cost of the services provided by regional agencies to the cost of services provided by individual school districts demonstrate that regional ESAs produce substantial savings. Massachusetts Collaboratives: Making the Most of Education Dollars