Centre for Economic Performance LSE RSS Email Blog Twitter

Abstract:

cover
SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper
Local Economic Conditions and the Nature of New Housing Supply
Christian A. L. Hilber, Jan Rouwendal and Wouter Vermeulen
August 2014
Paper No' SERCDP0164:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: R11; R21; R31; R52


Tags: local economic conditions; open monocentric city model; land conversion; housing supply; housing type; housing consumption; land use regulation; migration

We present a modified open monocentric city model that assumes that land is available for conversion into new housing throughout the city. The model predicts that positive local income shocks (i) increase the city’s share of multi-family housing in new construction and (ii) lead to the construction of smaller units. We exploit the metro area samples of the American Housing Survey from 1984 to 2004 and find support for both predictions. We confirm that the adjustment process is driven by migration and is hindered by strict local land use control. Our findings imply that tight regulation may hamper metro area level labor market adjustment to positive economic shocks not only through limits on the quantity of newly supplied units but also by constraining their type to single-family houses and larger units that may be less suitable for would-be-migrants.