The effect of gasoline prices on household location
Gasoline prices influence where households decide to locate by changing the cost of commuting. Consequently, the substantial increase in gas prices since 2003 may have reduced the demand for housing in areas far from employment centers, leading to a decrease in the price and/or quantity of housing in those locations relative to locations closer to jobs. Using annual panel data on ZIP codes and municipalities in a large number of metropolitan areas of the United States from 1981 to 2008, we find that a 10 percent increase in gas prices leads to a 10 percent decrease in construction after 4 ...
Declining migration within the US: the role of the labor market
We examine explanations for the secular decline in interstate migration since the 1980s. After showing that demographic and socioeconomic factors can account for little of this decrease, we present evidence suggesting that it is related to a downward trend in labor market transitions--i.e. a decline in the fraction of workers moving from job to job, changing industry, and changing occupation--that occurred over the same period. We explore a number of reasons why these flows have diminished over time, including changes in the distribution of job opportunities across space, polarization in the ...
Measuring Mortgage Credit Availability : A Frontier Estimation Approach
We construct a new measure of mortgage credit availability that describes the maximum amount obtainable by a borrower of given characteristics. We estimate this "loan frontier" using mortgage originations data from 2001 to 2014 and show that it reflects a binding borrowing constraint. Our estimates reveal that the expansion of mortgage credit during the housing boom was substantial for all borrowers, not only for low-score or low-income borrowers. The contraction was most pronounced for low-score borrowers. Using variation in the frontier across metropolitan areas over time, we show that ...
The housing crisis and state and local government tax revenue: five channels
State and local government tax revenues dropped steeply following the most severe housing market contraction since the Great Depression. We identify five main channels through which the housing market affects state and local tax revenues: property tax revenues, transfer tax revenues, sales tax revenues (including a direct effect through construction materials and an indirect effect through the link between housing wealth and consumption), and personal income tax revenues. We find that property tax revenues do not tend to decrease following house price declines. We conclude that the resilience ...
The post-foreclosure experience of U.S. households
Despite the recent flood of foreclosures on residential mortgages, little is known about what happens to borrowers and their households after their mortgage has been foreclosed. We study the post-foreclosure experience of U.S. households using a unique dataset based on the credit reports of a large panel of individuals to from 1999 to 2010. Although foreclosure considerably raises the probability of moving, the majority of post-foreclosure migrants do not end up in substantially less desirable neighborhoods or more crowded living conditions. These results suggest that, on average, foreclosure ...
Measuring Aggregate Housing Wealth : New Insights from an Automated Valuation Model
We construct a new measure of aggregate U.S. housing wealth based on Zillow's Automated Valuation Model (AVM). AVMs offer advantages over other methods because they are based on recent market transaction prices, utilize large datasets which include property characteristics and local geographic variables, and are updated frequently with little lag. However, using Zillow's AVM to measure aggregate housing wealth requires overcoming several challenges related to the representativeness of the Zillow sample. We propose methods that address these challenges and generate a new estimate of aggregate ...
How Can We Measure the Value of a Home? Comparing Model-Based Estimates with Owner-Occupant Estimates
In this note, we assess whether AVM estimates or owner valuations are better at approximating the market value of a home.
Housing Supply and Affordability: Evidence from Rents, Housing Consumption and Household Location
We examine how housing supply constraints affect housing affordability, which we define as the quality-adjusted price of housing services. In our dynamic model, supply constraints increase the price of housing services by only half has much as the purchase price of a home, since the purchase price responds to expected future increases in rent as well as contemporaneous rent increases. Households respond to changes in the price of housing services by altering their housing consumption and location choices, but only by a small amount. We evaluate these predictions using common measures of ...
Understanding Declining Fluidity in the U.S. Labor Market
We document a clear downward trend in labor market fluidity that is common across a variety of measures of worker and job turnover. This trend dates to at least the early 1980s if not somewhat earlier. Next we pull together evidence on a variety of hypotheses that might explain this downward trend. It is only partly related to population demographics and is not due to the secular shift in industrial composition. Moreover, the decline in labor market fluidity seems unlikely to have been caused by an improvement in worker-firm matching, the formalization of hiring practices, or an increase in ...
Internal migration in the United States
We review patterns in migration within the U.S. over the past thirty years. Internal migration has fallen noticeably since the 1980s, reversing increases from earlier in the century. The decline in migration has been widespread across demographic and socioeconomic groups, as well as for moves of all distances. Although a convincing explanation for the secular decline in migration remains elusive and requires further research, we find only limited roles for the housing market contraction and the economic recession in reducing migration recently. Despite its downward trend, migration within the ...