Immigration and Housing Rents: Evidence from German Reunification
Kathleen Kürschner, "Immigration and Housing Rents: Evidence from German Reunification"
2016 | ISBN-10: 3658120606 | 115 pages | PDF | 1,5 MB

This work exploits the natural experiment provided by the unexpected disintegration of socialist East Germany to study the impact of the mass immigration of East Germans on housing rents in West German metropolitan areas. Using a spatial correlation approach, annual district-level migration data for 1991 and 1992 and unique rental price indicators from Germany's major regional property market information system, Kathleen Kürschner finds strong evidence for a positive and sizeable effect of immigration on rental prices of residential housing. Additional explorations that employ an IV approach based on various exogenous origin-region push factors related to the deteriorating economic conditions in East Germany yield estimates of even larger magnitude. These results suggest that immigration has important economic effects outside the labour market, traditionally the prime domain of economic enquiries into the consequences of immigration. The author's findings cast doubt on the appropriateness of this bias in focus.
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