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Rural-Urban Migration, Structural Transformation, and Housing Markets in China

Carlos Garriga, Aaron Hedlund, Yang Tang, Ping Wang

NBER Working Paper No. 23819
Issued in September 2017
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

This paper explores the contribution of the structural transformation and urbanization process to China's housing-market boom. Rural to urban migration together with regulated land supplies and developer entry restrictions can raise housing prices. This issue is examined using a multi-sector dynamic general-equilibrium model with migration and housing. Our quantitative findings suggest that this process accounts for about 80 percent of urban housing price changes. This mechanism remains valid in extensions calibrated to the two largest cities with most noticeable housing booms and to several alternative setups. Overall, supply factors and productivity account for most of the housing price growth.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23819

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