Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




John M. Yinger


Hedonics, Sorting Equilibrium, Steering

Subject Categories

Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


My dissertation comprises three essays on the housing market. The first two chapters analyze the housing market using the hedonic model. Chapter 1 estimates a semi-nonparametric hedonic regression that provides evidence for the change of bidding and sorting for job-access over time in Buffalo MSA. Based on the estimation result, a decomposition of the price change is implemented to shed light on how bidding and sorting contribute to the price change of a house with different job access respectively. Chapter 2 proposes an alternative approach which yields a likelihood-based estimator for implicit price elasticity of amenity demand. An application of my approach to a cross-sectional data set of Cleveland MSA in 2000 yields price elasticity of demand for public high school quality and neighborhood ethnic composition. Based on the estimates of the implicit price elasticity, it is also possible to characterize the sorting equilibrium with respect to the amenity of interest and measure the change in willingness to pay due to a counterfactual change in the amenity level. Chapter 3, coauthored with Yao Wang, focuses on discriminatory steering in the housing market. John Kain proposed the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis in 1968. He argued that the persistent high unemployment rate among blacks in central cities might be due to the suburbanization of jobs combined with the housing discrimination keeping blacks from relocating accordingly. We provide the first direct test of the role played by housing discrimination proposed by Kain's Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis. Combining a large-scale fair housing audit study and granular employment data, we detect suggestive evidence on housing agents' steering behavior.


Open Access

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