Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Gary V. Engelhardt
concentration, crime, Hurricane Katrina, rental housing, senior housing
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Essays on the Economics of Rental Housing and Crime
My dissertation consists of three chapters in the area of applied microeconomics. The first chapter exploits the mass evacuation of thousands of New Orleans residents to numerous counties throughout the South in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to identify the impact of migration on rents and estimate supply elasticities in local rental housing markets. The second chapter follows with an investigation of the impact that the evacuations on crime in the destination counties. The analyses in the first two chapters are conducted using data from American Community Survey and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting database. The third chapter focuses on the relationship between ownership concentration and rental housing market outcomes. This analysis employs panel data on individual senior housing properties from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care to measure ownership concentration and to examine its impact on senior housing rents and occupancy measures.
The Impact of Migration on Rents: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005, leaving in its wake damage of catastrophic proportions. The mass evacuations before and after the hurricane led to the long-term displacement of more than half of the New Orleans residents to counties throughout the United States, but predominately in the South. This study uses a panel of Southern counties constructed from American Community Survey (ACS) data to estimate the impact of Katrina migration on local rents. Relying on the exogenous nature of this forced migration, this analysis finds that population changes due to Hurricane Katrina evacuations expanded the market demand for rental housing and consequently increased rents. Specifically, an increase in Katrina migration equal to 1 percent of the county population resulted in a 3 to 8 percent increase in the rents of natives. The study also suggests that the short-run rental housing supply is inelastic, with estimates ranging between 0 and 0.60.
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina Migration on Crime
The evacuations from Hurricane Katrina led to an influx of economically vulnerable people into numerous counties throughout the South This paper follows the empirical framework of the preceding chapter by exploiting the quasi-experimental nature of these evacuations to evaluate whether this mass migration had an impact on crime levels in the destination counties. The study uses a panel of Southern counties constructed of data extracted from American Community Survey (ACS) and the Federal Bureaus of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting database. The analysis finds that population changes due to Hurricane Katrina did not have a statistically significant impact on the total level of violent crimes or property crimes.
The Impact of Market Concentration in the Market for Senior Rental Housing
The senior housing rental market is one of the fastest growing housing segments, but relatively little is known about its market structure. This paper uses panel data on individual senior housing properties from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) to examine the impact of ownership concentration in the market for senior rental housing. Market concentration is greatest in the independent living and assisted living senior housing markets. In the assisted living market, in particular, increased concentration results in higher average monthly rents and lower occupancy, as would be predicted by standard microeconomic theory. In the independent living market increased concentration results in increased rent growth and lower occupancy. Nonprofit providers appear to attenuate the impact of market concentration, especially in the independent living market.
Ealey, LaRhonda Renee, "Essays on the Economics of Rental Housing and Crime" (2016). Dissertations - ALL. 429.