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Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation

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  • Chang-Tai Hsieh
  • Enrico Moretti

Abstract

We quantify the amount of spatial misallocation of labor across US cities and its aggregate costs. Misallocation arises because high productivity cities like New York and the San Francisco Bay Area have adopted stringent restrictions to new housing supply, effectively limiting the number of workers who have access to such high productivity. Using a spatial equilibrium model and data from 220 metropolitan areas we find that these constraints lowered aggregate US growth by 36 percent from 1964 to 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2019. "Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 1-39, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:11:y:2019:i:2:p:1-39
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20170388
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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