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Housing Booms and City Centers

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Joshua D. Gottlieb
  • Kristina Tobio

Abstract

Popular discussions often treat the great housing boom of the 1996-2006 period as if it were a national phenomenon with similar impacts across locales, but across metropolitan areas, price growth was dramatically higher in warmer, less educated cities with less initial density and higher initial housing values. Within metropolitan areas, price growth was faster in neighborhoods closer to the city center. The centralization of price growth during the boom was particularly dramatic in those metropolitan areas where income is higher away from the city center. We consider four different explanations for why city centers grew more quickly when wealth was more suburbanized: (1) gentrification, which brings rapid price growth, is more common in areas with centralized poverty; (2) areas with centralized poverty had more employment concentration which led to faster centralized price growth; (3) areas with centralized poverty had the weakest supply response to the boom in prices in the city center; and (4) poverty is centralized in cities with assets, like public transit, at the city center that became more valuable over the boom. We find some support for several of these hypotheses, but taken together they explain less than half of the overall connection between centralized poverty and centralized price growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Kristina Tobio, 2012. "Housing Booms and City Centers," NBER Working Papers 17914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17914
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Amine Ouazad & Romain Rancière, 2019. "City Equilibrium With Borrowing Constraints: Structural Estimation And General Equilibrium Effects," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(2), pages 721-749, May.
    2. Ouazad, Amine & Rancière, Romain, 2015. "Structural Demand Estimation with Borrowing Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 10866, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia & Sviatschi, Maria, 2015. "Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill," IZA Discussion Papers 9502, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Katharina Knoll & Moritz Schularick & Thomas Steger, 2017. "No Price Like Home: Global House Prices, 1870-2012," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 331-353, February.
    5. Ina Blind & Matz Dahlberg & Gustav Engström & John Östh, 2018. "Construction of Register-based Commuting Measures," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 64(2), pages 292-326.
    6. Barasinska, Nataliya & Haenle, Philipp & Koban, Anne & Schmidt, Alexander, 2019. "Stress testing the German mortgage market," Discussion Papers 17/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Felipe Carozzi, 2015. "Credit Constraints and the Composition of Housing Sales. Farewell to First-Time Buyers?," SERC Discussion Papers 0183, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    8. Paul E. Carrillo & Eric R. Wit & William Larson, 2015. "Can Tightness in the Housing Market Help Predict Subsequent Home Price Appreciation? Evidence from the United States and the Netherlands," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(3), pages 609-651, September.
    9. Jeffrey P. Cohen & Cletus C. Coughlin & David A. Lopez, 2012. "The boom and bust of U.S. housing prices from various geographic perspectives," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 341-368.
    10. Guerrieri, Veronica & Hartley, Daniel & Hurst, Erik, 2013. "Endogenous gentrification and housing price dynamics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 45-60.
    11. Takaaki Ohnishi & Takayuki Mizuno & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2019. "House Price Dispersion in Boom-Bust Cycles: Evidence from Tokyo," Working Papers on Central Bank Communication 008, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    12. Kyle Fee & Daniel Hartley, 2012. "The relationship between city center density and urban growth or decline," Working Papers (Old Series) 1213, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    13. Nora Ruth Libertun de Duren, 2017. "La carga de la vivienda de interés social: Comparación entre hogares de la periferia y del centro en ciudades de Brasil, Colombia y México," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 8417, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Takaaki Ohnishi & Takayuki Mizuno & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2020. "House price dispersion in boom–bust cycles: evidence from Tokyo," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 71(4), pages 511-539, October.
    15. Howard, Greg & Liebersohn, Jack, 2021. "Why is the rent so darn high? The role of growing demand to live in housing-supply-inelastic cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    16. Il Hwan Chung & William Duncombe & John Yinger, 2018. "The Impact of State Aid Reform on Property Values: A Case Study of Maryland's Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 13(3), pages 369-394, Summer.
    17. Takaaki Ohnishi & Takayuki Mizuno & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2019. "House Price Dispersion in Boom-Bust Cycles: Evidence from Tokyo," CARF F-Series CARF-F-461, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    18. Lena Edlund & Cecilia Machado & Maria Micaela Sviatschi, 2015. "Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill," NBER Working Papers 21729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Neil Bhutta & Benjamin J. Keys, 2016. "Interest Rates and Equity Extraction during the Housing Boom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1742-1774, July.
    20. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando, 2015. "US city size distribution revisited: Theory and empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 64051, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Diega Caprara & Riccardo De Bonis & Luigi Infante, 2018. "Household wealth in Italy and in advanced countries," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 470, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    22. Carozzi, Felipe, 2015. "Credit constraints and the composition of housing sales. Farewell to first-time buyers?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65016, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    23. Edward L. Glaeser, 2013. "A Nation Of Gamblers: Real Estate Speculation And American History," NBER Working Papers 18825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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