Immigration and Housing Rents in American Cities

43 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2004

See all articles by Albert Saiz

Albert Saiz

MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2006


Is there a local economic impact of immigration? Immigration pushes up rents and housing values in US destination cities. The positive association of rent growth and immigrant inflows is pervasive in time series for all metropolitan areas. I use instrumental variables based on a "shift-share" of national levels of immigration into metropolitan areas. An immigration inflow equal to 1% of a city's population is associated with increases in average rents and housing values of about 1%. The results suggest an economic impact that is an order of magnitude bigger than that found in labor markets.

Keywords: Immigration, housing, housing rents

JEL Classification: J61, R23, R31

Suggested Citation

Saiz, Albert, Immigration and Housing Rents in American Cities (June 2006). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 03-12; IZA Discussion Paper No. 2189. Available at SSRN:

Albert Saiz (Contact Author)

MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States
617-252-1687 (Phone)
617-258-6991 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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