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Unaffordable housing and local employment growth: Evidence from California municipalities

Author

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  • Ritashree Chakrabarti

    (IHS Global Insight, USA)

  • Junfu Zhang

    (Clark University, USA)

Abstract

It is widely believed that unaffordable housing could drive businesses away and thus impede job growth. However, there is little evidence to support this view. This paper presents a simple model to clarify how housing affordability is linked to employment growth and why unaffordable housing could negatively affect employment growth. The paper then investigates this effect empirically using data on California municipalities. For various reasons, a simple correlation between unaffordable housing and employment growth cannot be interpreted as causal. Several empirical strategies are employed to identify the causal effect of unaffordable housing on employment growth. The estimation results provide consistent evidence that unaffordable housing indeed slows local employment growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Ritashree Chakrabarti & Junfu Zhang, 2015. "Unaffordable housing and local employment growth: Evidence from California municipalities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 52(6), pages 1134-1151, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:52:y:2015:i:6:p:1134-1151
    DOI: 10.1177/0042098014532854
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    Cited by:

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    4. Ekkehard Ernst & Faten Saliba, 2018. "Are House Prices Responsible for Unemployment Persistence?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 795-833, September.
    5. Nikodem Szumilo & Edyta Laszkiewicz & Franz Fuerst, 2017. "The spatial impact of employment centres on housing markets," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 472-491, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    amenity; California; employment growth; housing affordability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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