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The Anatomy of Rent Burdens: Immigration, Growth and Rental Housing

  • Greulich, Erica
  • Quigley, John M.
  • Raphael, Steven

This paper assesses whether growth in the immigrant population over the past two decades has adversely affected the housing consumption opportunities of native renter households. We find that the monthly housing expenses of native renters are higher in metropolitan areas with larger immigrant populations. However, these marginal effects are comparable for both native households in direct competition with immigrants and native households that are unlikely to compete with immigrants in the housing market. Moreover, while average native rents increase as the proportion immigrant increases within a given metropolitan area, the same is not true for rent-to-income ratios. We do find that native households in metropolitan areas with large immigrant populations consume fewer rooms and are relatively more likely to reside in crowded conditions. This result holds in an analysis of cross-sectional variation as well as the analysis of changes within metropolitan areas. However, there is little evidence that these effects are larger for those native households who are likely to be in competition for housing with immigrant households.

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Paper provided by Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy in its series Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series with number qt63t3t356.

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Date of creation: 04 Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:bphupl:qt63t3t356
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  1. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 5454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  3. Randall Filer, 1992. "The Effect of Immigrant Arrivals on Migratory Patterns of Native Workers," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 245-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Quigley, John Michael, 1972. "A Model of Swedish Emigration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 111-26, February.
  6. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M. & Anas, Alex, 2003. "Theories of system of cities," Working Papers 2003-08, University of New Orleans, Department of Economics and Finance.
  7. 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.
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