IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Urban Renewal after the Berlin Wall

  • Gabriel M. Ahfeldt
  • Wolfgang Maennig
  • Felix J. Richter

Urban renewal areas are popular but empirically understudied spatial planning instruments designed to prevent urban decline and induce renewal. We use a quasi-experimental research design to study the effects of 22 renewal areas implemented in Berlin, Germany, to increase housing and living quality in the aftermath of the city's division during the Cold War period. Our results suggest that the policy has helped reduce (increase) the number of buildings in poor (good) condition by 25% (10%). Property prices increased at an annual rate of 0.4-1.7% according to our preferred estimates. Evidence is weak at best, however, for positive housing externalities. More generally, our findings indicate that the efficiency of program evaluations for place based -policies using quasi-experimental methods increases with the number of targeted areas and areas that provide the counterfactual.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0151.

in new window

Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0151
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Nancy Holman & Gabriel M Ahlfeldt, 2015. "No Escape? The Coordination Problem in Heritage Preservation," Environment and Planning A, SAGE Publishing, vol. 47(1), pages 172-187, January.
  2. Gerald A. Carlino & Albert Saiz, 2008. "City Beautiful," Working Papers 08-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Jan K. Brueckner & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2009. "Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America's Future Downtowns Be Rich?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 725-743, November.
  4. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-75, June.
  5. Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Wolfgang Maennig, 2013. "Homevoters vs. Leasevoters: A Spatial Analysis of Airport Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 4301, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Oates, Wallace E, 1969. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 957-71, Nov./Dec..
  7. Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm, 2008. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1766-97, December.
  8. Ben Dachis & Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2012. "The effects of land transfer taxes on real estate markets: evidence from a natural experiment in Toronto," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 327-354, March.
  9. Antonio Ciccone, 1998. "Agglomeration-effects in Europe," Economics Working Papers 499, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 1999.
  10. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Georgios, Kavetsos, 2010. "Form or Function? The Impact of New Football Stadia on Property Prices in London," MPRA Paper 25003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History and Industry Location: The Case of the Manufacturing Belt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 80-83, May.
  12. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  13. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Raymond Owens, 2010. "Housing Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 485-535, 06.
  14. N. Edward Coulson & Michael L. Lahr, 2005. "Gracing the Land of Elvis and Beale Street: Historic Designation and Property Values in Memphis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 487-507, 09.
  15. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
  16. Blomquist, Glenn C & Berger, Mark C & Hoehn, John P, 1988. "New Estimates of Quality of Life in Urban Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 89-107, March.
  17. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Wolfgang Maennig, 2010. "Substitutability and Complementarity of Urban Amenities: External Effects of Built Heritage in Berlin," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 285-323.
  18. Hans R. A. Koster & Jos N. van Ommeren & Piet Rietveld, 2016. "Historic amenities, income and sorting of households," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 203-236.
  19. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen, 2005. "Valuing rail access using transport innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 148-169, January.
  20. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
  21. Hilber, Christian A. L., 2007. "New Housing Supply and the Dilution of Social Capital," MPRA Paper 11620, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Nov 2008.
  22. Brunner, Eric & Sonstelie, Jon & Thayer, Mark, 2001. "Capitalization and the Voucher: An Analysis of Precinct Returns from California's Proposition 174," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 517-536, November.
  23. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
  24. Caliendo, Marco & Kopeinig, Sabine, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 1588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Leah Brooks & Justin Phillips, 2007. "Inside The Gift Horse'S Mouth: City Spending, Political Instituions And The Community Development Block Grant Program," Departmental Working Papers 2007-09, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  26. Stuart Gabriel & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2003. "Quality of the Business Environment Versus Quality of Life: Do Firms and Households Like the Same Cities?," Working Paper 8615, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  27. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
  28. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-52, December.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
  30. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1991. "The Structure of Local Public Finance and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 774-806, August.
  31. Dehring, Carolyn A. & Depken II, Craig A. & Ward, Michael R., 2008. "A direct test of the homevoter hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 155-170, July.
  32. Cheshire, Paul & Sheppard, Stephen, 1995. "On the Price of Land and the Value of Amenities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(246), pages 247-67, May.
  33. LeRoy, Stephen F. & Sonstelie, Jon, 1983. "Paradise lost and regained: Transportation innovation, income, and residential location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-89, January.
  34. Carlino, Gerald & Coulson, N. Edward, 2004. "Compensating differentials and the social benefits of the NFL," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 25-50, July.
  35. N. Edward Coulson & Robin M. Leichenko, 2004. "Historic Preservation and Neighbourhood Change," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 41(8), pages 1587-1600, July.
  36. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  37. David E. Clark & William E. Herrin, 1997. "Historical Preservation Districts and Home Sale Prices: Evidence from the Sacramento Housing Market," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 27(1), pages 29-48, Summer.
  38. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M., 2011. "Blessing or curse? Appreciation, amenities and resistance to urban renewal," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 32-45, January.
  39. David Albouy, 2009. "What Are Cities Worth? Land Rents, Local Productivity, and the Capitalization of Amenity Values," NBER Working Papers 14981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Peter V. Schaeffer & Cecily Ahern Millerick, 1991. "The Impact of Historic District Designation on Property Values: An Empirical Study," Economic Development Quarterly, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, vol. 5(4), pages 301-312, November.
  41. Krugman, Paul, 1994. "Complex Landscapes in Economic Geography," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 412-16, May.
  42. Asabere, Paul K & Huffman, Forrest E & Mehdian, Seyed, 1994. "The Adverse Impacts of Local Historic Designation: The Case of Small Apartment Buildings in Philadelphia," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 225-34, May.
  43. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "The Value of School Facility Investments: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 215-261.
  44. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Yoshida, Atsushi, 2000. "Separating Urban Agglomeration Economies in Consumption and Production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 70-84, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0151. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.