Department of Economics
University of Michigan
611 Tappan St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
Institutional Affiliation: University of Michigan
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2019||Minding Your Ps and Qs: Going from Micro to Macro in Measuring Prices and Quantities|
with John C. Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, David Johnson, Matthew D. Shapiro: w25465
Key macro indicators such as output, productivity, and inflation are based on a complex system across multiple statistical agencies using different samples and different levels of aggregation. The Census Bureau collects nominal sales, the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects prices, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis constructs nominal and real GDP using these data and other sources. The price and quantity data are integrated at a high level of aggregation. This paper explores alternative methods for re-engineering key national output and price indices using item-level data. Such re-engineering offers the promise of greatly improved key economic indicators along many dimensions.
|November 2016||Housing Demand, Cost-of-Living Inequality, and the Affordability Crisis|
with David Albouy, Yingyi Liu: w22816
Since 1970, housing's relative price, share of expenditure, and ``unaffordability'' have all grown. We estimate housing demand using a novel compensated framework over space and an uncompensated framework over time. Our specifications pass tests imposed by rationality and household mobility. Housing demand is income and price inelastic, and appears to fall with household size. We provide a numerical non-homothetic constant elasticity of substitution utility function for improved quantitative modeling. An ideal cost-of-living index demonstrates that the poor have been disproportionately impacted by rising relative rents, which have greatly amplified increases in real income inequality.
|May 2012||Housing Productivity and the Social Cost of Land-Use Restrictions|
with David Albouy: w18110
We use metro-level variation in land and structural input prices to test and estimate a housing cost function with differences in local housing productivity. Both OLS and IV estimates imply that stringent regulatory and geographic restrictions substantially increase housing prices relative to land and construction input costs. The typical cost share of land is one-third, and substitution between inputs is inelastic. A disaggregated analysis of regulations finds state-level restrictions are costlier than local ones and provides a Regulatory Cost Index (RCI). Housing productivity falls with city population. Typical land-use restrictions impose costs that appear to exceed quality-of-life benefits, reducing welfare on net.
Published: David Albouy & Gabriel Ehrlich, 2018. "Housing Productivity and the Social Cost of Land-Use Restrictions," Journal of Urban Economics, . citation courtesy of