Skip to main content

What do economists know about the effect of rent control on housing maintenance?

Abstract

Economists' views concerning the effect of rent control on the maintenance of controlled apartments are based on extremely simple models of housing markets and rent control ordinances and on casual empiricism. This paper shows that the models are seriously deficient in that they ignore essential features of actual rent control ordinances and important responses to them. When these features and responses are taken into account, the effect of rent control on maintenance of the controlled stock is theoretically ambiguous. The paper also shows that the few systematic empirical studies have serious flaws. Therefore, there is no basis for economists' strongly-held belief that rent control leads to worse maintenance.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Arnott, Richard.Rent Control and Options for Decontrol in Ontario. Toronto: Ontario Economic Council, 1981.

    Google Scholar 

  • . “Economic Theory and Housing.” In: Edwin S. Mills, ed.,Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 2:Urban Economics. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

  • Borsch-Supan, Axel. “On the West German Tenants' Protection Legislation.”Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 142 (June 1986), 380–404.

    Google Scholar 

  • DeSalvo, Joseph S. “Reforming Rent Control in New York City: An Analysis of Housing Expenditures and Market Rentals.”Regional Science Association Papers 27 (1970), 195–227.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dildine, Larry L. and Massey, Fred A. “Dynamic Model of Private Incentives to Housing Maintenance.”Southern Economic Journal 40 (April 1974), 631–639.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilderbloom, John I. and Appelbaum, Richard P.Rethinking Rental Housing. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kearl, J. R. et al. “A Confusion of Economists?”American Economic Review 69 (May 1979), 28–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiefer, David. “Housing Deterioration, Housing Codes, and Rent Control.”Urban Studies 17 (February 1980), 53–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Linneman, Peter. “The Effect of Rent Control on the Distribution of Income Among New York City Renters.”Journal of Urban Economics 22 (July 1987), 14–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Loikkanen, Heikki A. “On Availability Discrimination under Rent Control.”Scandinavian Journal of Economics 87 (1985), 500–520.

    Google Scholar 

  • Malpezzi, Stephen Jerome. “Rent Control and Housing Market Equilibrium: Theory and Evidence from Cairo, Egypt.” Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Geroge Washington University, 1986.

  • Moorhouse, John C. “Optimal Housing Maintenance under Rent Control.”Southern Economic Journal 39 (July 1972), 93–106.

    Google Scholar 

  • Olsen, Edgar O. “An Econometric Analysis of Rent Control.”Journal of Political Economy 80 (November/December 1972), 1081–1100.

    Google Scholar 

  • . “The Role of Government in the Housing Sector.” In: Herbert Giersch, ed.,Reassessing the Role of Government in a Mixed Economy. Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1983.

    Google Scholar 

  • . “The Demand and Supply of Housing Service: A Critical Survey of the Empirical Literature.” In: Edwin S. Mills, ed.,Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 2:Urban Economics. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosen, Harvey S. “Housing Subsidies: Effects on Housing Decisions, Efficiency, and Equity” In: Alan J. Auerbach and Martin Feldstein, eds.,Handbook of Public Economics, vol. 1. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1985.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rydell, C. Peter et al.The Impact of Rent Control on the Los Angeles Housing Market. N-1747-LA. Santa Monica, California: The Rand Corporation, 1981.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sweeney, James L. “Housing Unit Maintenance and the Mode of Tenure.”Journal of Economic Theory 8 (July 1974), 111–138.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Olsen, E.O. What do economists know about the effect of rent control on housing maintenance?. J Real Estate Finan Econ 1, 295–307 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00658922

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00658922

Keywords

  • Empirical Study
  • Simple Model
  • Essential Feature
  • Housing Market
  • Casual Empiricism