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Imperfect Substitutability in Real Estate Markets and the Effect of Housing Demand on the Macroeconomy
Changes in housing demand can have a macroeconomic effect through the collateral channel, where the change in residential real estate prices is associated with a change in commercial real estate prices, affecting firm collateral and thus firm investment. We argue that this channel is weaker when residential and commercial real estate are poor substitutes. Using cross-state heterogeneity in the strength of zoning regulations as a proxy for heterogeneity in the substitutability of residential and commercial real estate, we first show with firm level data that the strength of local zoning ...