Job Market Paper

“The Effect of Rezoning on Local Housing Supply and Demand: Evidence from New York City” (Job Market Paper)  [link]

(Selected for presentation at 2022 APPAM, 2022 UEA, 2022 ACSP, and 2022 AsRES-AREUEA Joint Conference)

Housing affordability has continued to be a great challenge that many cities face in the United States, and some local governments try to tackle this issue by relaxing land-use regulations and increasing allowed residential density. This type of “upzoning” policy aims to increase housing supply and lower local housing costs, but it can also create positive amenity effects that attract high-income households to the neighborhood. In this paper, I study the neighborhood-scale upzonings in New York City between 2004 and 2013 using a difference-in-difference method. I construct a parcel-level dataset by combining zoning amendment maps with microdata tracking individual address histories. By exploiting the plausibly exogenous boundaries of upzoned areas, I compare the upzoned areas and their immediate surrounding areas outside the upzoned boundaries. I find that housing supply increases after upzoning, but there is also suggestive evidence of increased housing prices among existing properties on parcels with substantial increase in residential capacity. I also find that incumbent residents living in upzoned areas are more likely to move to a different neighborhood or leave New York City, but they are not more likely to move to lower-income areas. Finally, there is evidence that after the upzoning, in-migrants come from slightly higher-income neighborhoods. These results suggest that in this context, upzoning can both increase housing supply and change the composition of local residents.

Working Papers

“Moving Back: Demographic Differences in Boomeranging to Parents and Implications for Intergenerational Disadvantage” (with Sewin Chan and Katherine O’Regan)

We exploit the large scale of the American Community Survey to examine the extent of boomeranging among young adults (YAs) and the quality of their destination parental locations. We find that as a share of YAs who move, boomerang rates are higher among more disadvantaged groups by race/ethnicity, education, recent marital dissolution, and employment disruption. Boomerangs are more likely to come from metropolitan areas with high unemployment and low average earnings; among cross-metro moves, boomerangers disproportionately land in higher unemployment and lower earnings metros than their origin. A synthetic cohort analysis suggests that Black and Hispanic YAs, and those from lower socioeconomic status families, face weaker labor markets and opportunities when boomeranging. To the extent that these disadvantages are not offset by parental support, our results suggest another channel through which racial and socioeconomic disparities can be perpetuated.

“Chronic Illness, Residential Mobility, and Homeownership”

Adverse health incidence not only influences one’s physical activity and labor productivity, it can also have persistent effects on other aspects of people’s life. This paper uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and event study models to examine how initial diagnosis of chronic diseases is associated with housing stability and homeownership transition. I find that female renters are more likely to move after the onset of chronic disease, and they are also more likely to live in more crowded housing. As for housing tenure, male homeowners are more likely to transition out of homeownership following diagnosis of chronic conditions. Male renters are also significantly less likely to transition into homeownership after developing chronic illness. Given these findings, helping people prevent chronic diseases or access healthcare and housing services when they experience such adverse health incidence can be crucial in alleviating the long-term negative consequences on housing outcomes.

Work in Progress

“The Pandemic and Racial Turnover: Did COVID Change Segregation?” (with Ingrid Gould Ellen and Amrita Kulka)

Policy Research and Report

“Accessibility of America’s Housing Stock: Analysis of the 2011 American Housing Survey” (with Luke Bosher, Sewin Chan, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Brian Karfunkel). U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development: Office of Policy Development and Research, 2015.