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Housing Consumption and the Cost of Remote Work

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  • Christopher T. Stanton
  • Pratyush Tiwari

Abstract

This paper estimates housing choice differences between households with and without remote workers. Prior to the pandemic, the expenditure share on housing was more than seven percent higher for remote households compared to similar non-remote households in the same commuting zone. Remote households’ higher housing expenditures arise from larger dwellings (more rooms) and a higher price per room. Pre-COVID, households with remote workers were actually located in areas with above-average housing costs, and sorting within-commuting zone to suburban or rural areas was not economically meaningful. Using the pre-COVID distribution of locations, we estimate how much additional pre-tax income would be necessary to compensate non-remote households for extra housing expenses arising from remote work in the absence of geographic mobility, and we compare this compensation to commercial office rents in major metro areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher T. Stanton & Pratyush Tiwari, 2021. "Housing Consumption and the Cost of Remote Work," NBER Working Papers 28483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28483
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jose Maria Barrero & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2020. "Why Working From Home Will Stick," Working Papers 2020-174, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Howard, Greg & Liebersohn, Jack & Ozimek, Adam, 2023. "The short- and long-run effects of remote work on U.S. housing markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 166-184.
    3. Steven Bond-Smith & Philip McCann, 2022. "The work-from-home revolution and the performance of cities," Working Papers 2022-6, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    4. Malik, Khyati & Kim, Sowon & Cultice, Brian J., 2023. "The impact of remote work on green space values in regional housing markets," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    5. Jan K. Brueckner, 2024. "Work-from-Home and Cities: An Elementary Spatial Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 11121, CESifo.
    6. John A. Mondragon & Johannes Wieland, 2022. "Housing Demand and Remote Work," NBER Working Papers 30041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nicholas Bloom & Arjun Ramani, 2021. "The donut effect of Covid-19 on cities," CEP Discussion Papers dp1793, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Gokan,Toshitaka & Kichko,Sergei & Matheson,Jesse A & Thisse,Jacques-François, 2022. "How the rise of teleworking will reshape labor markets and cities?," IDE Discussion Papers 868, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    9. Delventhal, Matthew J. & Kwon, Eunjee & Parkhomenko, Andrii, 2022. "JUE Insight: How do cities change when we work from home?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    10. Allstrin, Susanna & Grafström, Jonas & Stern, Charlotta & Weidenstedt, Linda, 2022. "Managing Work from Anywhere: Six Points to Consider for HR Professionals," Ratio Working Papers 357, The Ratio Institute.
    11. Molly Boesel & Shu Chen & Frank E. Nothaft, 2021. "Housing preferences during the pandemic: effect on home price, rent, and inflation measurement," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 56(4), pages 200-211, October.
    12. Schulz, Rainer & Watson, Verity & Wersing, Martin, 2023. "Teleworking and housing demand," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    13. Behrens, Kristian & Kichko, Sergei & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2024. "Working from home: Too much of a good thing?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C).
    14. Parkhomenko, Andrii & Delventhal, Matthew J, 2023. "Spatial Implications of Telecommuting in the United States," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt97q6c2rg, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    15. Shen, Lucas, 2022. "Does working from home work? A natural wxperiment from lockdowns," MPRA Paper 115446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Gilles Duranton & Jessie Handbury, 2023. "COVID and Cities, Thus Far," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 29(2), pages 6-52, October.
    17. Shen, Lucas, 2023. "Does working from home work? A natural experiment from lockdowns," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    18. Ana Maria Mihaela Iordache & Codruța Cornelia Dura & Cristina Coculescu & Claudia Isac & Ana Preda, 2021. "Using Neural Networks in Order to Analyze Telework Adaptability across the European Union Countries: A Case Study of the Most Relevant Scenarios to Occur in Romania," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(20), pages 1-28, October.
    19. Malik, Khyati & Kim, Sowon & Cultice, Brian J., 2023. "The Impact of Remote Work on Green Space Values in Regional Housing Markets," 2023 Annual Meeting, July 23-25, Washington D.C. 335486, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Elisa Guglielminetti & Michele Loberto & Giordano Zevi & Roberta Zizza, 2021. "Living on my own: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on housing preferences," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 627, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    21. Brueckner, Jan K. & Sayantani, S., 2023. "Intercity impacts of work-from-home with both remote and non-remote workers," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(PB).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

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