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Author:Severen, Christopher 

Working Paper
Commuting, Labor, and Housing Market Effects of Mass Transportation: Welfare and Identification

REVISED MARCH 2019 This paper studies the effects of Los Angeles Metro Rail on the spatial distribution of people and prices. Using a panel of bilateral commuting flows, I estimate a quantitative spatial general equilibrium model to quantify the welfare benefits of urban rail transit and distinguish the benefits of reduced commuting frictions from other channels. The subway causes a 7%-13% increase in commuting between pairs of connected tracts; I select plausible control pairs using proposed subway and historical streetcar lines to identify this effect. The structural parameters of the model ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-14

Working Paper
Formative Experiences and the Price of Gasoline

An individual?s initial experiences with a common good, such as gasoline, can shape their behavior for decades. We first show that the 1979 oil crisis had a persistent neg-ative effect on the likelihood that individuals that came of driving age during this time drove to work in the year 2000 (i.e., in their mid 30s). The effect is stronger for those with lower incomes and those in cities. Combining data on many cohorts, we then show that large increases in gasoline prices between the ages of 15 and 18 sig-nificantly reduce both (i) the likelihood of driving a private automobile to work and ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-35

Working Paper
Land-Use Regulations, Property Values, and Rents: Decomposing the Effects of the California Coastal Act

REVISED MARCH 2018 Land-use regulations can lower real estate prices by imposing costs on property owners, but may raise prices by restricting supply and generating amenities. We study the effects of the California Coastal Act, one of the nation?s most stringent land-use regulations, on prices and rents for multifamily housing units. The Coastal Act applies to a narrow section of the California coast, allowing us to compare properties on either side of the jurisdictional boundary. The Coastal Act offers several advantages for measuring the effects of land-use regulations, including plausible ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-33

Journal Article
A Ticket to Ride: Estimating the Benefits of Rail Transit

Starting in 1990, Los Angeles County built a new and expensive rail transit system. Now we can calculate the costs and beneļ¬ts.
Economic Insights , Volume 5 , Issue 2 , Pages 1-9

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