The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco

66 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018

See all articles by Rebecca Diamond

Rebecca Diamond

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Timothy McQuade

Stanford University

Franklin Qian

Stanford University

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

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.

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Suggested Citation

Diamond, Rebecca and McQuade, Timothy and Qian, Franklin, The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco (January 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24181. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3097954

Rebecca Diamond (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Timothy McQuade

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Franklin Qian

Stanford University ( email )

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