IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jhouse/v17y2008i3p212-224.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do rising tides lift all prices? Income inequality and housing affordability

Author

Listed:
  • Matlack, Janna L.
  • Vigdor, Jacob L.

Abstract

Simple partial equilibrium models suggest that income increases at the high end of the distribution can raise prices paid by those at the low end of the income distribution. This prediction does not universally hold in a general equilibrium model, or in models where the rich and poor consume distinct products. We use Census microdata to evaluate these predictions empirically, using data on housing markets in American metropolitan areas between 1970 and 2000. In markets with low-vacancy rates, increases in income at the high end of the distribution are associated with significantly higher rents per room and greater crowding among households headed by a high school dropout. Similar effects are not observed in markets with above-average vacancy rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Matlack, Janna L. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2008. "Do rising tides lift all prices? Income inequality and housing affordability," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 212-224, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:17:y:2008:i:3:p:212-224
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1051-1377(08)00022-3
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 763-789.
    2. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
    4. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    5. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2004. "Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 191-214, Winter.
    6. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    7. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Superstar Cities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 167-199, November.
    8. Greulich, Erica & Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2005. "The Anatomy of Rent Burdens: Immigration, Growth and Rental Housing," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt63t3t356, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    9. Danziger, Sheldon & Gottschalk, Peter, 1986. "Do Rising Tides Lift All Boats? The Impact of Secular and Cyclical Changes on Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 405-410, May.
    10. Amy S. Bogdon & Ayse Can, 1997. "Indicators of Local Housing Affordability: Comparative and Spatial Approaches," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 43-80, March.
    11. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
    12. Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 1999. "A look at real housing prices and incomes: some implications for housing affordability and quality," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Sep), pages 63-77.
    13. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Philippe Thalmann, 1999. "Identifying Households which Need Housing Assistance," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 36(11), pages 1933-1947, October.
    16. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
    17. Sweeney, James L, 1974. "Quality, Commodity Hierarchies, and Housing Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(1), pages 147-167, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. David Albouy & Mike Zabek, 2016. "Housing Inequality," NBER Working Papers 21916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gregory J. Colman & Dahlia K. Remler, 2008. "Vertical equity consequences of very high cigarette tax increases: If the poor are the ones smoking, how could cigarette tax increases be progressive?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 376-400.
    3. Caroline Dewilde, 2011. "GINI DP 18: The interplay between economic inequality trends and housing regime changes in advanced welfare democracies," GINI Discussion Papers 18, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    4. Zhang, Chuanchuan & Jia, Shen & Yang, Rudai, 2016. "Housing affordability and housing vacancy in China: The role of income inequality," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 4-14.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Adair Morse, 2016. "Trickle-Down Consumption," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(5), pages 863-879, December.
    6. Kyungmin Kim, 2020. "Income inequality and house prices in the United States: A panel VAR analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(3), pages 2111-2120.
    7. Hassani, Hossein & Yeganegi, Mohammad Reza & Gupta, Rangan, 2019. "Does inequality really matter in forecasting real housing returns of the United Kingdom?," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 18-25.
    8. Gu, Xinhua & Li, Guoqiang & Chang, Xiao & Guo, Haizhen, 2017. "Casino tourism, economic inequality, and housing bubbles," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 253-263.
    9. Randall Akee & Maggie R. Jones & Sonya R. Porter, 2019. "Race Matters: Income Shares, Income Inequality, and Income Mobility for All U.S. Races," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(3), pages 999-1021, June.
    10. Stefani, Alessia De, 2020. "Debt, inequality and house prices: Explaining the dynamics of household borrowing prior to the great recession," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C).
    11. Gabriel, Stuart & Painter, Gary, 2020. "Why affordability matters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    12. Andrius Kučas & Boyan Kavalov & Carlo Lavalle, 2020. "Living Cost Gap in the European Union Member States," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(21), pages 1-26, October.
    13. Sholeh A. Maani & Rhema Vaithianathan & Barbara Wolfe, 2006. "Inequality and Health: Is Housing Crowding the Link?," Working Papers 06_09, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    14. Joachim Möller, 2009. "Regional variations in the price of building land: a spatial econometrics approach for West Germany," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 43(1), pages 113-132, March.
    15. Zhang, Chuanchuan, 2015. "Income inequality and access to housing: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 261-271.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2006. "Housing Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 12787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ethan Lewis, 2004. "How did the Miami labor market absorb the Mariel immigrants?," Working Papers 04-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Robert J. Gordon & Ian Dew-Becker, 2007. "Selected Issues in the Rise of Income Inequality," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(2), pages 169-192.
    4. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 7, pages 229-264, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Ben-Shahar, Danny & Gabriel, Stuart & Golan, Roni, 2019. "Housing affordability and inequality:A consumption-adjusted approach," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-1.
    6. Dew-Becker, Ian & Gordon, Robert J, 2008. "Controversies about the Rise in American Inequality: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 6817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Kathrin Degen & Andreas M. Fischer, 2017. "Immigration and Swiss House Prices," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 153(1), pages 15-36, January.
    8. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 7, pages 229-264, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Naguib, Costanza, 2019. "Estimating the Heterogeneous Impact of the Free Movement of Persons on Relative Wage Mobility," Economics Working Paper Series 1903, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    10. Clément Bellet, 2017. "Essays on Inequality, Social Preferences and Consumer Behavior," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/vbu6kd1s68o, Sciences Po.
    11. Thu Hien DAO & Frédéric DOCQUIER & Mathilde MAUREL & Pierre SCHAUS, 2017. "Global Migration in the 20th and 21st Centuries: the Unstoppable Force of Demography," Working Paper 96d89f28-0e80-4703-9b33-6, Agence française de développement.
    12. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Fetzer, Thiemo, 2018. "Did Austerity Cause Brexit?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 381, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    14. Enrico Moretti, 2013. "Real Wage Inequality," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 65-103, January.
    15. Biavaschi, Costanza & Burzyński, Michał & Elsner, Benjamin & Machado, Joël, 2020. "Taking the skill bias out of global migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    16. Einiö, Elias, 2016. "The loss of production work: evidence from quasiexperimental identification of labour demand functions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69019, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Jean-François Maystadt & Valerie Mueller & Ashwini Sebastian, 2016. "Environmental Migration and Labor Markets in Nepal," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 417-452.
    18. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2009. "Regional Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Review," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-047/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 23 Jul 2009.
    19. Eric D Gould, 2019. "Explaining the Unexplained: Residual Wage Inequality, Manufacturing Decline and Low-skilled Immigration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(619), pages 1281-1326.
    20. Ian Richard Gordon & Ioannis Kaplanis, 2014. "Accounting for Big-City Growth in Low-Paid Occupations: Immigration and/or Service-Class Consumption," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 90(1), pages 67-90, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rent Crowding Low-income;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:17:y:2008:i:3:p:212-224. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622881 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.