Projet de thèse en Sciences économiques
Sous la direction de Miren Lafourcade et de Gabrielle Fack.
Thèses en préparation à Paris Saclay , dans le cadre de Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société , en partenariat avec Réseaux Innovation Territoires et Mondialisation (laboratoire) et de Université Paris-Sud (établissement de préparation de la thèse) depuis le 01-09-2015 .
Impact of Public Policies in the Housing Market
Abstract of first chapter: Taxing Vacant Apartments: can fiscal policy reduce vacancy? We provide the first evaluation of a tax on vacant housing. This instrument has increasingly been used by governments to reduce vacancy in large and dense cities with tight housing markets. We use the quasi-experimental setting of the implementation of a tax on vacancy in France in 1999 to identify the direct causal effect of the tax on the vacancy rate. Exploiting an exhaustive fiscal data set, which contains information on every dwelling in France from 1995 to 2013, we implement a Difference-in-Difference approach combined with a Propensity Score Matching strategy. Our results suggest that the tax was responsible for a 13% decrease in vacancy rates between 1997 and 2001. This impact is twice as high for municipalities with an initially high vacancy level. Our results also suggest that most of the vacant dwellings became primary residences. Research proposal for the second chapter: Do short-term rent platforms affect rents? Evidence from Airbnb in Barcelona Recent technology improvements and the widespread use of Internet have made sharing assets cheaper and easier than ever. Physical assets can now be disaggregated and consumed as services thanks to the reduction of transaction cost enabled by the Internet. Users of the net are able of browsing, choosing and renting a room, a car lift or even a surfboard from another private user. In the case of housing, Airbnb has become a fierce competitor for the hotel industry with more than 2 million room's listing in 190 countries. In the same time, it has also became an attractive alternative for multiple-house owners who prefer renting their dwelling for shorter periods in Airbnb rather than for a longer period to a stable tenant. Therefore, some of the supply of the house renting market has shift to the tourism sector. In this context, it is crucial to assess to what extent the volume of supply shifting from housing to the tourism sector has had an impact on renting prices. The case of the city of Barcelona appears to be particularly convenient for this analysis. Tourism in Barcelona hasn't ceased to increase; in 2015 it was the 3rd most visited city in Europe and the 20th in the world, receiving up to 8.3 million people in 2015, more than 5 times its population. At the same time, while rents were on a decreasing pattern following the financial crisis, they have started to scale back up in 2015. Media and politicians have started to blame the illegal tourist apartments as the cause of the rise in rents but no causality has been identified so far. I propose to assess the impact of the apparition of airbnb on house rents and prices through an instrumental variable strategy in the context of Barcelona. Broadly speaking, I propose to use distance to important landmarks as an instrument to predict airbnb density. Given that being close to a landmark is likely to impact house prices and rents as well as airbnb density, I will first estimate this impact in the period before airbnb and then work with the first difference of the variables. Hence, for the instrument to be exogenous I need to assume that even if house prices are affected by the proximity to landmarks, this impact is constant over time. The exclusivity assumption is then relaxed thanks to the use of the time dimension. Therefore, any change in the price caused by the proximity to a landmark would be the impact of being in an area with a higher airbnb density. I plan to apply this strategy in the context of Barcelona using data on rents at the neighbourhood level (73 neighbourhoods) and combining it with data from the Inside airbnb, an online site collecting data on airbnb listing and host since 2015. Chapter 3 - Does tourism boost housing prices? Evidence from European air traffic liberalisation (with Miren Lafourcade and Clara Martínez-Toledano Toledano) Spain is one of the top holiday destinations for Europeans. Due to its proximity to other European countries, its pleasant weather and the variety of amenities, Spain is also attractive as a second homes spot. Indeed, Spain is one of the European countries with a higher percentage of second homes, 16% in 1991 compared, for example, to 10% in France (1986). Although most of secondary homes are owned by nationals, foreign ownership might also be playing a role. Similarly, Spain is also an attractive destination for international retirement migration. Both this factors make the Spanish housing market appealing to foreign owners. The aim of this paper is to understand the extent to which foreign demand for real estate affects housing prices. In order to identify the impact of foreign buyers in the housing market, we plan to use the liberalisation of air traffic in Europe entailed by European Union regulation. In particular, in 1993 the EU introduced a series of common rules for the allocation of slots at EU airports. This regulation was introduced in order to ensure that all airlines have access to the busiest EU airports, in an attempt to increase competition and eventually decrease prices. The common rules implied a shift from a grandfathering system to a system of "use it or lose it". This means, after the reform, the slots were allocated by an independent coordinator and airlines could only keep their slots provided they use 80% of their allocated slots. To our knowledge, there is only one paper which looks at the impact of air traffic on housing prices in New Zealand. Tsui et al. (2017) use a measure of airport competition as an instrument for an airport's workload and find that airport traffic volumes positively and significantly influence urban house prices. We plan to use data from the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) on passengers traffic by airline and airport and combine it with data on housing prices for all capitals of provinces from the Society of Property Appraisals. Using information for the period before and after the liberalisation, we want to check if the reform entailed a decrease in air transport prices and hence increased foreign passengers volume. Spanish national statistics indicate that the volume of international passengers increased by 15% from 1993 to 1994, which is the highest increase ever recorded in international volumes (the average being 5% for the period 1990-2017). If this is the case, we plan to use the reform as an instrument for higher volumes of foreign visitors and assess whether this exogenous shock had an effect on housing prices. Current Status: We have just bought the data from IATA on air traffic for Spain. Then, we will schedule a meeting with a person from the DGAC to understand the allocation process of circulation right in order to determine the first empirical strategy. Then, we will ask the DGAC for air traffic data for France.