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Studies on the Effects of Property Taxation, Rent Control and Housing Allowances

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  • Teemu Lyytikäinen

Abstract

This thesis consists of an introduction to the economic analysis of housing markets (Chapter 1) and three studies each analyzing different housing policy instruments. Chapter 2 examines the effect on housing construction of the Finnish property tax system. The focus is on the effects of taxing undeveloped land at a higher rate than developed land. Theoretical analysis indicates that pre-development land tax should lead to faster development but a side-effect of this is that the density of development may be affected too. According to empirical results, a higher pre-development land tax increases single family housing starts but does not affect development density measured as the volume (cubic meters) per started unit. Chapter 3 analyzes the costs and benefits of rent control to tenants. The focus is on the measurement of welfare losses from misallocation of housing under rent control. Empirical results suggest that the costs of increased mismatch between dwellings and households under rent control offset much of the benefits of low rents to tenants. Chapter 4 examines the incentive effects of the Finnish housing allowance system. Theoretical analysis shows that the system creates incentives to move to dwellings with certain space?quality combinations. Empirical analysis suggests that households eligible for housing allowance do not respond to the incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Research Reports with number 140.

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Date of creation: 10 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fer:resrep:140

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Keywords: Housing; property tax; rent control; housing allowance;

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  1. Bargain, Olivier & Immervoll, Herwig & Viitamäki, Heikki, 2007. "How Tight Are Safety-Nets in Nordic Countries? Evidence from Finnish Register Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Edgar O. Olsen, 2003. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 365-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sheppard, Stephen, 1999. "Hedonic analysis of housing markets," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 1595-1635 Elsevier.
  4. Quigley, John M., 1982. "Nonlinear budget constraints and consumer demand: An application to public programs for residential housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 177-201, September.
  5. Bartik, Timothy J. & Butler, J. S. & Liu, Jin-Tan, 1992. "Maximum score estimates of the determinants of residential mobility: Implications for the value of residential attachment and neighborhood amenities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 233-256, September.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Fry, Vanessa & Walker, Ian, 1987. "Modelling the Take-up of Means-tested Benefits: the Case of Housing Benefits in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(390), pages 58-74, Supplemen.
  7. Kan, Kamhon, 1999. "Expected and Unexpected Residential Mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 72-96, January.
  8. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1995. "Modelling the take-up of state support," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 391-415, November.
  9. Susin, Scott, 2002. "Rent vouchers and the price of low-income housing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 109-152, January.
  10. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
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