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Heterogeneity within Communities: A Stochastic Model with Tenure Choice

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  • Ortalo-Magné, François
  • Rady, Sven

Abstract

Standard explanations for the income heterogeneity within neighborhoods rely on differences of preferences across households and heterogeneity of the housing stock. We propose an alternative and complementary explanation. We construct a stochastic equilibrium sorting model where (1) income is the sole dimension of household heterogeneity, (2) households form state-contingent housing location plans that may involve moves over their lifetimes, (3) households choose whether to own or rent depending on the housing expenditure risk associated with each tenure mode, and (4) there is a probability that newcomer households move in and compete for homes with native households. Income mixing within neighborhood arises for two reasons. First, allowing natives to form state-contingent housing location plans breaks the indivisibility of housing consumption implicit in the literature where households choose their location once and for all. Second, natives can insure themselves against rent fluctuations by buying their home prior to the realization of the population shock; newcomers cannot. As a result, poorer natives stay in the more desirable communities and only richer newcomers move in these communities. Evidence from U.S. metropolitan areas supports the effects predicted by the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Ortalo-Magné, François & Rady, Sven, 2005. "Heterogeneity within Communities: A Stochastic Model with Tenure Choice," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 49, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:49
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    Cited by:

    1. Basant K. Kapur, 2016. "Another Look At Price Instability And Consumer Well-Being: Nondurable And Durable (Housing) Markets," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(02), pages 1-9, June.
    2. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Alvin Murphy & Christopher Timmins, 2011. "A Dynamic Model of Demand for Houses and Neighborhoods," NBER Working Papers 17250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Haavio, Markus & Kauppi, Heikki, 2009. "House price fluctuations and residential sorting," Research Discussion Papers 14/2009, Bank of Finland.
    4. Pablo Casas-Arce & Albert Saiz, 2006. "Owning versus leasing: do courts matter?," Working Papers 06-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    5. François Ortalo-Magné & Andrea Prat, 2005. "The Political Economy of Housing Supply," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000954, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Martin Gonzalez Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Working Papers 72, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.
    7. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Superstar Cities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 167-199, November.
    8. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Alvin Murphy & Christopher Timmins, 2016. "A Dynamic Model of Demand for Houses and Neighborhoods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 893-942, May.
    9. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Liu, Yingchun, 2008. "Explaining the black-white homeownership gap: The role of own wealth, parental externalities and locational preferences," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 152-174, June.
    10. Markus Haavio & Heikki Kauppi, 2006. "House price fluctuations and residential sorting," 2006 Meeting Papers 774, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Tang, Edward Chi Ho, 2014. "Availability, Affordability and Volatility: the case of Hong Kong Housing Market," MPRA Paper 58770, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Charles Ka Yui Leung, 2015. "Availability, Affordability and Volatility: The Case of the Hong Kong Housing Market," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 18(3), pages 383-428.
    13. Ko, Kate, 2009. "Home Prices and Urban Corridors," 50th Annual Transportation Research Forum, Portland, Oregon, March 16-18, 2009 207607, Transportation Research Forum.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equilibrium Sorting; Income Mixing; Housing Demand; Tenure Choice;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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