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Immigration and Housing Booms: Evidence from Spain

Author

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  • Gonzalez, Libertad

    () (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Ortega, Francesc

    () (Queens College, CUNY)

Abstract

We estimate empirically the effect of immigration on house prices and residential construction activity in Spain over the period 1998-2008. This decade is characterized by both a spectacular housing market boom and a stunning immigration wave. We exploit the variation in immigration across Spanish provinces and construct an instrument based on the historical location patterns of immigrants by country of origin. The evidence points to a sizeable causal effect of immigration on both prices and quantities in the housing market. Between 1998 and 2008, the average Spanish province received an immigrant inflow equal to 17% of the initial working-age population. We estimate that this inflow increased house prices by about 52% and is responsible for 37% of the total construction of new housing units during the period. These figures imply that immigration can account for roughly one third of the housing boom, both in terms of prices and new construction.

Suggested Citation

  • Gonzalez, Libertad & Ortega, Francesc, 2009. "Immigration and Housing Booms: Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 4333, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4333
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Libertad González Luna & Francesc Ortega, 2007. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Recent evidence from Spanish regions," Economics Working Papers 1059, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Farré Lidia & González Libertad & Ortega Francesc, 2011. "Immigration, Family Responsibilities and the Labor Supply of Skilled Native Women," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-48, June.
    3. Saiz, Albert, 2007. "Immigration and housing rents in American cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 345-371, March.
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    9. Greulich, Erica & Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2005. "The Anatomy of Rent Burdens: Immigration, Growth and Rental Housing," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt63t3t356, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    10. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Tommaso Frattini, 2008. "The labour market impact of immigration," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 478-495, Autumn.
    11. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2011. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 69-113, January.
    12. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    construction; house prices; immigration; housing market; Spain;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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