The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco
We exploit quasi-experimental variation in assignment of rent control to study its impacts on tenants, landlords, and the overall rental market. Leveraging new data tracking individuals’ migration, we find rent control increased renters’ probabilities of staying at their addresses by nearly 20%. Landlords treated by rent control reduced rental housing supply by 15%, causing a 5.1% city-wide rent increase. Using a dynamic, neighborhood choice model, we find rent control offered large benefits to covered tenants. Welfare losses from decreased housing supply could be mitigated if insurance against rent increases were provided as government social insurance, instead of a regulated landlord mandate.
We are grateful for comments from Ed Glaeser, Christopher Palmer, Paul Scott, and seminar participants at The Conference on Urban and Regional Economics, the Fall HULM Conference, NTA Annual Meeting, NBER Real Estate Summer Institute, NBER Fall Public and Labor Studies Meetings, NYU Stern, the Stanford Finance Faculty Lunch, UC Berkeley, and the University of Illinois. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Rebecca Diamond & Tim McQuade & Franklin Qian, 2019. "The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco," American Economic Review, vol 109(9), pages 3365-3394. citation courtesy of