IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Rent Control and Tenants' Welfare: The Effects of Deregulating Rental Markets in Finland

  • Teemu Lyytikäinen

Private rental markets in Finland were subject to rent control from 1967 until the beginning of the 1990s when the rent control system was gradually abolished. This study estimates the costs and benefits of rent control to tenants in private rental dwellings in 1990 using the years 1998 and 2001 as benchmarks. Special emphasis is placed on the welfare costs of increased discrepancies between actual and desired housing consumption due to the overdemand situation caused by rent control. Earlier studies on the welfare effects of rent control usually assume that the household would consume on the estimated demand curve in the absence of rent control. Here it is shown that this assumption biases estimates of the net benefit of rent control to tenants downwards and welfare measures are derived that also allow for suboptimal housing consumption in the absence of rent control. The empirical implementation of these measures utilizes micro-simulation to differentiate between ?natural? free market disequilibrium costs and additional disequilibrium costs caused by rent control. According to the results, the additional disequilibrium costs offset roughly 30 per cent of the benefits of lower rents to tenants and amounted to over 2 per cent of consumption expenditure of tenant households. The estimated net benefit of rent control to tenants, taking both low rents and disequilibrium costs into account, was 4.5 or 6.5 per cent of consumption expenditure, depending on the reference year. The ratio of the net benefit to tenants to the costs of lower rents to landlords was 64 or 72 per cent.

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

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 385.

in new window

Date of creation: 21 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:385
Contact details of provider: Postal: Arkadiankatu 7, P.O. Box 1279, FI-00101 Helsinki
Phone: +358 295 519 400
Fax: +358 295 519 599
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

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. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-76, September.
  2. Edin, P.A. & Englund, P., 1989. "Moving Cost And Housing Demand: Are Recent Movers Really In Equilibrium?," Papers 1989d, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  3. Zabel, Jeffrey E., 2004. "The demand for housing services," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 16-35, March.
  4. Olsen, Edgar O., 1987. "The demand and supply of housing service: A critical survey of the empirical literature," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 25, pages 989-1022 Elsevier.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2003. "The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1027-1046, September.
  6. Olsen, Edgar O, 1972. "An Econometric Analysis of Rent Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1081-1100, Nov.-Dec..
  7. Richard Arnott, 1995. "Time for Revisionism on Rent Control?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 99-120, Winter.
  8. Harvey, A C, 1976. "Estimating Regression Models with Multiplicative Heteroscedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(3), pages 461-65, May.
  9. Willig, Robert D, 1976. "Consumer's Surplus without Apology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 589-97, September.
  10. Jeroen Weesie, 1998. "Regression analysis with multiplicative heteroscedasticity," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(42).
  11. Malpezzi, Stephen, 1998. "Welfare analysis of rent control with side payments: a natural experiment in Cairo, Egypt1," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 773-795, November.
  12. Early, Dirk W., 2000. "Rent Control, Rental Housing Supply, and the Distribution of Tenant Benefits," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 185-204, September.
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:fer:dpaper:385. 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: (Anita Niskanen)

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.