In this paper, we employ behaviour-driven cellular automata as a simplified agent-based modelling approach to test the seminal Coase theorem, with a policy focus on the land value betterment effect of urban infrastructure provision. Four prototypical development regimes are identified from international practice: (1) the private developer-oriented Metroland model dating back to the suburbanisation of London in the nineteenth century England; (2) the private household-led special district model, which can be observed in many contemporary US suburbs; (3) the public planning-regulated model, as featured in most post-war European welfare state countries, including the present-day UK; (4) the public state-as-developer model, which characterises what has been taking place in China. A repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) based on the results of a large number of cellular automata simulations suggests no significant difference between models I and II in terms of their welfare outcomes measured by aggregate utility. However, models III and IV are both found to generate significantly less welfare than models I and II, under strict assumptions of zero transaction costs, perfect information, perfect capital markets and perfect competition.
- Infrastructure Development
- Coase Theorem
- Agent-based Modelling
- Behaviour-drive Cellular Automata