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Explaining the Rent–OER Inflation Divergence, 1999–2007


  • Randal Verbrugge
  • Robert Poole


U.S. Rent inflation has often greatly exceeded Owners' Equivalent Rent (OER) Inflation. Why? Critics believe that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is making a faulty utilities adjustment to OER and that the Federal Reserve Board should focus only on Rent inflation. Both beliefs are misguided. Herein we decompose the historical Rent–OER inflation differential into its various determinants. The utilities adjustment, which is necessary, sometimes contributed, but is no smoking gun. The main culprit was an economically interesting pattern of differential rent inflation across locales within cities, one common to many cities. Surprisingly, rent control also played a role.

Suggested Citation

  • Randal Verbrugge & Robert Poole, 2010. "Explaining the Rent–OER Inflation Divergence, 1999–2007," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 633-657, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:38:y:2010:i:4:p:633-657

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
    2. Hongbin Cai & J. Vernon Henderson & Qinghua Zhang, 2013. "China's land market auctions: evidence of corruption?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(3), pages 488-521, September.
    3. Guerrieri, Veronica & Hartley, Daniel & Hurst, Erik, 2013. "Endogenous gentrification and housing price dynamics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 45-60.
    4. Holger Sieg & V. Kerry Smith & H. Spencer Banzhaf & Randy Walsh, 2004. "Estimating The General Equilibrium Benefits Of Large Changes In Spatially Delineated Public Goods," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1047-1077, November.
    5. Waldfogel, Joel, 2008. "The median voter and the median consumer: Local private goods and population composition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 567-582, March.
    6. Carlino, Gerald & Coulson, N. Edward, 2004. "Compensating differentials and the social benefits of the NFL," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 25-50, July.
    7. Zheng, Siqi & Kahn, Matthew E., 2008. "Land and residential property markets in a booming economy: New evidence from Beijing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 743-757, March.
    8. repec:rim:rimwps:36-08 is not listed on IDEAS
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    1. repec:bla:reesec:v:45:y:2017:i:3:p:591-627 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Randal Verbrugge & Alan Dorfman & William Johnson & Fred Marsh III & Robert Poole & Owen Shoemaker, 2017. "Determinants of Differential Rent Changes: Mean Reversion versus the Usual Suspects," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 45(3), pages 591-627, July.

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