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Rent Control Rationing and Community Composition: Evidence from Massachusetts

Listed author(s):
  • Sims David P

    ()

    (Brigham Young University)

Registered author(s):

    This paper investigates whether rent control affects community socioeconomic composition. In particular, do rent controls increase the presence of poor and minority residents in a locale? Theoretically, the effect of rent control on community composition is ambiguous, as it depends upon several factors including willingness to occupy controlled apartments, landlord imposed rationing mechanisms, and spillover effects of rent controlled housing on uncontrolled units. Using census data on how Cambridge, Massachusetts and nearby communities responded to the state imposed end of rent control, I find evidence that rent control increased the presence of minority residents but also decreased the proportion of poor residents. This evidence is robust to alternate control areas and several specification checks. I also find that despite its positive impact on minority membership, rent control is associated with an increase in traditional measures of residential segregation.

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    File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap.2011.11.issue-1/bejeap.2011.11.1.2613/bejeap.2011.11.1.2613.xml?format=INT
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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 1-30

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:27
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    1. Ault Richard W. & Jackson John D. & Saba Richard P., 1994. "The Effect of Long-Term Rent Control on Tenant Mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 140-158, March.
    2. Gyourko, Joseph & Linneman, Peter, 1989. "Equity and efficiency aspects of rent control: An empirical study of New York City," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 54-74, July.
    3. Linneman, Peter, 1987. "The effect of rent control on the distribution of income among New York City renters," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 14-34, July.
    4. Bayer, Patrick & McMillan, Robert & Rueben, Kim S., 2004. "What drives racial segregation? New evidence using Census microdata," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 514-535, November.
    5. Olsen, Edgar O, 1972. "An Econometric Analysis of Rent Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1081-1100, Nov.-Dec..
    6. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2003. "The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1027-1046, September.
    8. Alston, Richard M & Kearl, J R & Vaughan, Michael B, 1992. "Is There a Consensus among Economists in the 1990's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 203-209, May.
    9. Krol, Robert & Svorny, Shirley, 2005. "The effect of rent control on commute times," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 421-436, November.
    10. Rapaport, Carol, 1992. "Rent Regulation and Housing-Market Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 446-451, May.
    11. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2007. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," NBER Working Papers 13052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sims, David P., 2007. "Out of control: What can we learn from the end of Massachusetts rent control?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 129-151, January.
    13. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
    14. Early, Dirk W., 2000. "Rent Control, Rental Housing Supply, and the Distribution of Tenant Benefits," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 185-204, September.
    15. Moon, Choon-Geol & Stotsky, Janet G, 1993. "The Effect of Rent Control on Housing Quality Change: A Longitudinal Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1114-1148, December.
    16. Gyourko, Joseph & Linneman, Peter, 1990. "Rent controls and rental housing quality: A note on the effects of New York City's old controls," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 398-409, May.
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