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The Political Economy of Housing Supply:Homeowners, Workers, and Voters

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  • Francois Ortalo-Magne
  • Andrea Prat

Abstract

Equilibrium of the housing market depends on a complex set of interactions between: (1)individual location decisions; (2) individual housing investment; (3) collective decisions onurban growth. We embed these three elements in a model of a dynamic economy with twosources of friction: ill-de…ned property rights on future land development and uninsurableshocks a¤ecting labor productivity. We characterize the feedback between the households’desire to invest in housing as a hedge against the risk of rent ‡uctuations and their supportfor supply restrictions once they own housing. The model generates an ine¢ ciently lowsupply of housing in equilibrium. The model also rationalizes the persistence of housingundersupply: the more restricted the initial housing supply, the smaller the city size selectedby the voting process. We use the model to study the e¤ects of a number of policies andinstitutional changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Francois Ortalo-Magne & Andrea Prat, 2007. "The Political Economy of Housing Supply:Homeowners, Workers, and Voters," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 514, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:514
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bertaud, Alain & Brueckner, Jan K., 2004. "Analyzing building height restrictions - predicted impacts, welfare costs, and a case study of Bangalore, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3290, The World Bank.
    2. Hilber, Christian A.L., 2005. "Neighborhood externality risk and the homeownership status of properties," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 213-241, March.
    3. Jeffrey A. Dubin & D. Roderick Kiewiet & Charles Noussair, 1992. "Voting On Growth Control Measures: Preferences And Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 191-213, July.
    4. 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.
    5. Brueckner, Jan K., 1995. "Strategic control of growth in a system of cities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 393-416, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2013. "On the origins of land use regulations: Theory and evidence from US metro areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 29-43.
    2. Wrenn, Douglas H. & Irwin, Elena G., 2015. "Time is money: An empirical examination of the effects of regulatory delay on residential subdivision development," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 25-36.
    3. Todd Sinai, 2010. "Feedback Between Real Estate And Urban Economics," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 423-448.
    4. Byron F. Lutz, 2009. "Fiscal amenities, school finance reform and the supply side of the Tiebout market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing Supply; Housing Demand; Regulatory Policies; Political Economy.;

    JEL classification:

    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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