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Author:Rappaport, Jordan 

Working Paper
Why are population flows so persistent?

Extending the neoclassical growth model to allow for mobile labor, small shocks to a local economy's productivity or quality of life along with small frictions to capital and labor mobility effect extended equilibrium transition paths. During such transitions local population may be far away from its steady-state level but local wages and housing prices remain relatively close to their steady-state levels. Exogenous technological progress together with a partially elastic local housing supply imply steady-state population flows from high productivity to high quality-of-life economies. In ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 99-13

Working Paper
A simple model of city crowdedness

Population density varies widely across U.S. cities. A calibrated general equilibrium model in which productivity and quality-of-life differ across locations can account for such variation. Individuals derive utility from consumption of a traded good, a nontraded good, leisure, and quality-of-life. The traded and nontraded goods are produced by combining mobile labor, mobile capital, and non-mobile land. An eight-fold increase in population density requires an approximate 50 percent productivity differential or an approximate 20 percent compensating differential. A thirty-two-fold increase in ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 04-12

Journal Article
The affordability of homeownership to middle-income Americans

From 1971 through mid-2007, the nominal national sales price of housing grew almost eightfold. Controlling for inflation, this represented a near doubling in the relative price of housing. The retrenchment in prices that began in 2007 has so far remained small compared to the earlier increase. ; As house prices climbed, many people complained that housing had become unaffordable to middle-income Americans. As early as 1998, newspapers warned that homeownership was becoming a heavy financial burden. As sales price rises accelerated in 2003 and crested in 2006, homeownership was increasingly ...
Economic Review , Volume 93 , Issue Q IV , Pages 65-95

Working Paper
Urban Growth Shadows

Does a location's growth benefit or suffer from being geographically close to large economic centers? Spatial proximity may lead to competition and hurt growth, but it may also generate positive spillovers and enhance growth. Using data on U.S. counties and metro areas for the period 1840?2017, we document this tradeoff between urban shadows and urban spillovers. Proximity to large urban centers was negatively associated with growth from 1840 to 1920, and positively associated with growth after 1920. Using a two-city spatial equilibrium model with intra-city and inter-city commuting, we show ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-8

Report
Tight credit conditions continue to constrain the housing recovery

The expansion of Federal Housing Administration lending has let households with imperfect credit or the inability to make a large down payment maintain access to mortgage borrowing. Rather than excluding such households, lenders have been applying strict underwriting conditions on all borrowers. Clarifying what constitutes approved lending may help relax credit conditions with minimal increase in risk.
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 141

Working Paper
The settlement of the United States, 1800 to 2000: the long transition towards Gibrat's law

A prominent strand of economic literature argues that population growth rates across locations areas are uncorrelated with the population levels of those locations (?Gibrat?s Law?). Such uncorrelated growth, it is argued, can account for the current distribution of population across locations. This paper shows that, on the contrary, locations? population growth throughout U.S. history has always been highly correlated with their initial population levels. Throughout the entire 19th century and the early 20th century, low-population locations tended to grow faster than intermediate-population ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 13-02

Working Paper
How Centralized is U.S. Metropolitan Employment?

Centralized employment remains a benchmark stylization of metropolitan land use.To address its empirical relevance, we delineate "central employment zones" (CEZs)- central business districts together with nearby concentrated employment|for 183 metropolitan areas in 2000. To do so, we first subjectively classify which census tracts in a training sample of metros belong to their metro's CEZ and then use a learning algorithm to construct a function that predicts our judgment. {{p}} Applying this prediction function to the full cross section of metros estimates the probability we would judge ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 17-16

Working Paper
Consumption amenities and city crowdedness

Crowdedness varies widely among U.S. cities. A simple, static general equilibrium model suggests that plausible differences in metro areas? consumption amenities can account for much of the observed variation. Under a baseline calibration, differences in amenities valued at 30 percent of average consumption expenditures suffice to support a twenty-fold difference in population density. Empirical results confirm that amenities help support crowdedness and suggest that they are becoming a more important determinant of where people choose to live. But for the moment, local productivity appears ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 06-10

Journal Article
The Large Unmet Demand for Housing

Macro Bulletin

Journal Article
Why does unemployment differ persistently across metro areas?

Unemployment rates differ widely and persistently across U.S. metro areas. Metros that have experienced high or low unemployment rates in one year have tended to stay that way 10 years and even 20 years later. ; Such variation and persistence raises questions: Why don?t households move from high long-term unemployment metros to low long-term unemployment metros? Why don?t firms in need of workers move from low long-term unemployment metros to high long-term unemployment metros? ; Although such moves may seem sensible, Rappaport finds that a number of factors?a mismatch of worker skills to ...
Economic Review , Volume 97 , Issue Q II

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