Send Them Back? The Real Estate Consequences of Repatriations

59 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Gustavo Cortes

Gustavo Cortes

Warrington College of Business, University of Florida

Vinicios Sant'Anna

MIT Center for Real Estate

Date Written: October 7, 2021

Abstract

Housing is a crucial channel through which migration affects the local economy and wealth distribution. However, most of what we know about the effects of migration on housing is from studies focused on the inflows of immigrants. This paper quantifies the impact of out-migration on local housing empirically. We study one of the largest ethnically motivated migration shocks in US history, the United States' Mexican repatriation of the 1930s. Using a novel automated matching technique to link houses across the 1930 and 1940 Censuses, we show that repatriating Mexicans during the Great Depression significantly affected housing in various dimensions. Employing an instrumental variable approach, we show that Mexican-occupied houses experienced a disproportionately large devaluation of their house values and rents in cities more exposed to the repatriation. Critically, the repatriation mattered for aggregate outcomes in US cities: it decreased building permit growth rates, the median house value growth, and the median rent growth at the city level. Our results suggest that repatriations have a long-lasting impact, leaving a footprint on the local economy.

Keywords: Real Estate, Housing, Immigration, Great Depression

JEL Classification: R31, G01, N12, J15, J61

Suggested Citation

Cortes, Gustavo and Sant'Anna, Vinicios, Send Them Back? The Real Estate Consequences of Repatriations (October 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3962277 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3962277

Gustavo Cortes

Warrington College of Business, University of Florida ( email )

P.O. Box 117168
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://warrington.ufl.edu/directory/person/9136/

Vinicios Sant'Anna (Contact Author)

MIT Center for Real Estate ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.vpsantanna.com/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
160
Abstract Views
811
rank
260,682
PlumX Metrics