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Pennsylvania Convention Center, 106-A
Society of Government Economists
Urban Growth and Immigration
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Steve Payson, U.S. Department of the Interior
Monetary Policy and the Housing Market
AbstractWhen the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) makes monetary policy announcements, liquid markets tend to react immediately to both the direct change (or holding steady) of short term rates and expectations about the future path of monetary policy. In this paper, we examine the extent to which a much less liquid market, residential housing, responds to monetary policy announcements using a novel micro dataset that covers millions of individual property transactions nationally. Rather than using monthly or quarterly aggregated data, we use the underlying microdata obtained from Zillow (“ZTRAX” data set) that includes rich information on individual transactions as well as corresponding home characteristics for each property. Methodologically, transactions-level intra-monthly data better exploits the timing of the announcements for cleaner identification, providing new insights into how monetary policy shocks affect a market that makes up a substantial portion of the economy, where interest rates are thought to play a key role. Empirically, we compare the effect of “surprise” announcements to “expected” announcements on home prices using a regression discontinuity design (RDD), finding that monetary policy surprises generally have a more potent, immediate impact on home prices. Further, we explore the effects of quantitative easing on this market, as well as geographical variation in home price response to monetary policy more generally.
Teardowns, Popups and Bump-outs: What Do Building Permits Say About Housing Supply?
AbstractCities grow in layers over time. As population and land values increase, older, smaller buildings are replaced with higher density, higher value structures. However, direct costs of redevelopment and political and institutional barriers such as zoning may constrain replacement of older structures, leading to alternate forms of redevelopment. In this paper, I use administrative data on building permits in Washington DC to examine spatial patterns in several forms of building renovations that expand existing structures in particular ways: replacing small buildings with larger ones on the same lot (teardowns), adding stories on top of existing structures (popups), and extending the building footprint by “bumping out” the side or back. Analysis will compare the prevalence of these renovations across neighborhoods with the quantity of new construction and with renovations that do not expand building size. Preliminary results suggest that the type of renovations and expansions do exhibit variations across neighborhoods and over time, not obviously correlated with underlying land values.
The Immigrant Health Paradox in the United States, Europe and Israel
AbstractMost studies find that immigrants are healthier than natives when they first arrive in the host country. This health advantage, however, erodes and dissipates with time in the host country, as immigrants assimilate negatively to the health level of natives. Often, immigrant health may even become worse than that of natives. This paper investigates the health immigrant paradox using panel survey data about the health of people over 50 in the 21st century and in several traditional immigration countries. Namely the U.S. (the Health and Retirement Survey); sixteen European countries and Israel (the Survey of Health, Age and Retirement in Europe). Results show that immigrants in the U.S. arrive with better health than comparable natives, but their health deteriorates with length of stay and becomes worse than the health of natives. On the other hand, immigrants in Europe, who also arrive with a health advantage lose it within five years since migration and become the same as natives. In contrast, immigrants to Israel have worse health than natives upon arrival, and their health does not improve with additional years in Israel. Several sensitivity tests corroborate these findings.
U.S. Federal Reserve Board
U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency
U.S. Census Bureau
University of California-Santa Barbara
- O0 - General
- R0 - General