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Implicit Rents from Own-Housing and Income Distribution. Econometric Estimates for Greater Buenos Aires

  • Walter Sosa Escudero


    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Leonardo Gasparini

    (Universidad Nacional de La Plata)

Most income studies do not take into account the implicit rent obtained by households who inhabit their own dwellings, a fact that introduces a potentially relevant bias in inequality, poverty, and welfare measures. In this paper we estimate these implicit rents for the Greater Buenos Aires area from information of Argentina’s National Household Expenditures Survey (ENGH) of 1996/7. Based on a sample of households that rent their dwellings, quantile regressions are used to estimate observed rents from a hedonic model. Estimated coefficients are applied to households that do not rent their houses or apartments in order to predict the implicit rent derived from living in an owned house. Estimated implicit rents are added to the standard notion of household income and various inequality measures are reestimated. We find that the consideration of these implicit rents reduces inequality due to an income elasticity of spending in housing less than one, and to the relatively large proportion of house owners in the lower strata of the income distribution.

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Paper provided by Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia in its series Working Papers with number 58.

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Date of creation: May 2003
Date of revision: May 2004
Publication status: Published as "Implicit Rents and Income Distribution. Estimates for Greater Buenos Aires" in Journal of Income Distribution, 12 (1-2), Spring-Summer, 2004
Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:58
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  1. Sheppard, Stephen, 1999. "Hedonic analysis of housing markets," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 1595-1635 Elsevier.
  2. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  3. Craig, Steven G & Kohlhase, Janet E & Papell, David H, 1991. "Chaos Theory and Microeconomics: An Application to Model Specification and Hedonic Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 208-15, May.
  4. Yates, Judith, 1994. "Imputed Rent and Income Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(1), pages 43-66, March.
  5. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275.
  6. Cropper, Maureen L & Deck, Leland B & McConnell, Kenneth E, 1988. "On the Choice of Functional Form for Hedonic Price Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 668-75, November.
  7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  8. Katz, Arnold J, 1983. "Valuing the Services of Consumer Durables," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 29(4), pages 405-27, December.
  9. Eugenio Figueroa & George Lever, 1992. "Determinantes del Precio de Mercado de los Terrenos en el Área Urbana de Santiago," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 29(86), pages 99-114.
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