Essays in Urban and Regional Economics
- Author(s): Lu, Jiajun
- Advisor(s): Carson, Richard T
- et al.
Chapter 1 examines the economic consequences of expanding housing supply in productive urban cities and analyzes how residential sorting plays a role in forming a new market equilibrium. Using the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey data, I construct an economic model system that includes the models characterizing household residential location choices and their simultaneous spatial interactions with local labor markets, housing markets, and urban amenities across geographical areas in California. I find that, in an open economy with agglomeration effects, the positive residential sorting largely undoes what the housing legislation aims to achieve and reduces the quality of urban amenities in productive cities.
Chapter 2 documents the relationship between climate amenities and locational choices in retirement. Using data from 2017 release of the American Community Survey, I construct a household residential location choice model and value climate amenities from the trade-offs among housing cost, climate amenities, and other locational attributes in a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The results show that values of climate amenities vary with household demographic characteristics, and older households with a higher retirement income and disability have a higher marginal willingness to pay for a favorable climate. Using projected climate data, I find that over 2\% of retired households would relocate in response to this level of climate change.
Chapter 3 investigates how the residential real estate market, the second-largest asset market, in the U.S. has been fundamentally changed by the advent of online real estate websites. Using data on over 50,000 completed transactions obtained from Zillow, we first look at how the availability of the Zestimate influences both listing and sales prices. The factors influencing the listing realtor's decision to hold an open house are examined, as is the role such an open house has on the sales price and sales timing. Empirical results suggest that Zestimates play an important and complex role in driving the sales process and that holding an initial open house substantially increases sales price and decreases time on the market.