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A New Approach to Estimating the Production Function for Housing

  • Dennis Epple
  • Brett Gordon
  • Holger Sieg

Dating to the classic works of Alonso, Mills, and Muth, the production function for housing has played a central role in urban economics and local public finance. This paper provides a new flexible approach for estimating the housing production function which treats housing quantities and prices as latent variables. The empirical analysis is based on a comprehensive database of recently built properties in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. We find that the new method proposed in this paper works well in the application and provides reasonable estimates for the underlying production function. (JEL C51, D24, R11, R31)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 905-24

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:3:p:905-24
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.905
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  1. Whitney Newey, 1999. "Flexible Simulated Moment Estimation of Nonlinear Errors-in-Variables Models," Working papers 99-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Maria Marta Ferreyra, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Private School Vouchers in Multidistrict Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 789-817, June.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Diewert, W E, 1971. "An Application of the Shephard Duality Theorem: A Generalized Leontief Production Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 481-507, May-June.
  5. McDonald, John F., 1981. "Capital-land substitution in urban housing: A survey of empirical estimates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 190-211, March.
  6. Andrew Haughwout & James Orr & David Bedoll, 2008. "The price of land in the New York metropolitan area," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 14(Apr).
  7. Smith, Lawrence B & Rosen, Kenneth T & Fallis, George, 1988. "Recent Developments in Economic Models of Housing Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 29-64, March.
  8. Arie Beresteanu, 2005. "Nonparametric Analysis of Cost Complementarities in the Telecommunications Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 870-889, Winter.
  9. Smith, Barton A, 1976. "The Supply of Urban Housing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 389-405, August.
  10. Olsen, Edgar O, 1969. "A Competitive Theory of the Housing Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 612-22, Part I Se.
  11. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1981. "On the bias in flexible functional forms and an essentially unbiased form : The fourier flexible form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 211-245, February.
  12. Dennis Epple & Thomas Romer & Holger Sieg, 2001. "Interjurisdictional Sorting and Majority Rule: An Empirical Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1437-1465, November.
  13. Mundlak, Yair, 1996. "Production Function Estimation: Reviving the Primal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 431-38, March.
  14. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, 08.
  15. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  16. Holger Sieg & V. Kerry Smith & H. Spencer Banzhaf & Randy Walsh, . "Estimating the General Equilibrium Benefits of Large Changes in Spatially Delineated Public Goods," GSIA Working Papers 2003-07, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  17. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hausman, Jerry A. & Newey, Whitney K. & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Powell, James L., 1991. "Identification and estimation of polynomial errors-in-variables models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 273-295, December.
  19. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
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  21. Diewert, W. E., 1973. "Functional forms for profit and transformation functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 284-316, June.
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