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The Home Front: Rent Control and the Rapid Wartime Increase in Home Ownership

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  • Fetter, Daniel K.

Abstract

The U.S. home ownership rate rose by 10 percentage points between 1940 and 1945, despite severe restrictions on construction during World War II. I investigate whether wartime rent control played a role in this shift. The empirical test exploits variation in rent reductions across cities that had similar increases in rents prior to control. This variation does not appear to be correlated with underlying trends also driving home ownership. Greater initial rent reductions led to larger increases in home ownership; rent control can account for a significant share of the increase in home ownership over the early 1940s.

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  • Fetter, Daniel K., 2016. "The Home Front: Rent Control and the Rapid Wartime Increase in Home Ownership," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1001-1043, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:76:y:2016:i:04:p:1001-1043_00
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    1. Rent control and home ownership
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-11-29 21:48:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Price V. Fishback & Andrew J. Seltzer, 2021. "The Rise of American Minimum Wages, 1912–1968," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
    2. David H. Autor & Christopher J. Palmer & Parag A. Pathak, 2014. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from the End of Rent Control in Cambridge, Massachusetts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 661-717.
    3. Konstantin A. Kholodilin & Sebastian Kohl, 2020. "Does Social Policy through Rent Controls Inhibit New Construction? Some Answers from Long-Run Historical Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1839, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Stephen Malpezzi, 2021. "Housing “Affordability” and Responses During Times of Stress: A Brief Global Review," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2021_011, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.
    5. Konstantin A. Kholodilin & Sebastian Kohl, 2021. "Rent Price Control – Yet Another Great Equalizer of Economic Inequalities?: Evidence from a Century of Historical Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1927, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Olsen, Edgar O. & Zabel, Jeffrey E., 2015. "US Housing Policy," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 887-986, Elsevier.
    7. Sebastian Kohl, 2016. "Urban History Matters: Explaining the German--American Homeownership Gap," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 694-713, September.
    8. Konstantin Kholodilin & Sebastian Kohl, 2019. "Verdrängung oder Sozialpolitik? Einfluss von Regulierungen auf die Wohneigentumsquote [Social Policy or Crowding-out? The Effect of Private-tenancy Regulation on Homeownership]," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 99(5), pages 363-366, May.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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