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The Environmental Cost of Land Use Restrictions
Cities with cleaner power plants and lower energy demand have stricter land use restrictions; these restrictions increase housing prices and disincentivize living in these lower polluting cities. We use a spatial equilibrium model to quantify the effect of land use restrictions on household carbon emissions. Our model features heterogeneous households, cities that vary by power plant technology and the benefits of energy usage, as well as endogenous wages and rents. Relaxing restrictions in California to the national median leads to a 2.3% drop in national carbon emissions. The burden of a ...
Dynamic Responses to Immigration
I analyze the dynamic effects of immigration by estimating an equilibrium model of local labor markets in the US. The model includes firms in multiple cities and sectors which combine capital, skilled and unskilled labor in production, and forward-looking workers who choose their sector and location each period as a dynamic discrete choice. A counterfactual unskilled immigration inflow leads to an initial wage drop for unskilled workers and a wage increase for skilled workers. These effects dissipate rapidly as unskilled workers migrate away from heavily affected cities and workers shift ...
Heterogeneous Workers and Federal Income Taxes in a Spatial Equilibrium
This paper studies the incidence and efficiency of a progressive income tax in a spatial equilibrium. We use US census data to estimate an empirical spatial equilibrium with heterogeneous workers, landowners, and firms. The US income tax shifts skilled workers out of high-productivity cities, leading to a deadweight loss of 2% of tax revenue. Flattening the tax schedule significantly increases welfare inequality between skilled and unskilled workers and does not increase overall worker welfare, as the efficiency gains are captured by landowners. This suggests that progressive income taxes ...
Local Ties in Spatial Equilibrium
If someone lives in an economically depressed place, they were probably born there. The presence of people with local ties - a preference to live in their birthplace - leads to smaller migration responses. Smaller migration responses to wage declines lead to lower real incomes and make real incomes more sensitive to subsequent demand shocks, a form of hysteresis. Local ties can persist for generations. Place-based policies, like tax subsidies, targeting depressed places cause smaller distortions since few people want to move to depressed places. Place-based policies targeting productive ...
The Persistent Employment Effects of the 2006-09 U.S. Housing Wealth Collapse
We show that the housing wealth collapse of 2006-09 had a persistent impact on employment across counties in the U.S. In particular, localities that had a larger loss in housing net worth during that period had more depressed employment as late as 2016, without a commensurate population response. The use of IV's and controls to identify the causal impact of the wealth shock amplifies those results, leading to an estimate that a 10 percent change in housing net worth between 2006 and 2009 causes a 4.5 percent decline in local employment by 2016, as compared with a 2006 baseline. We do not find ...