HOUSING AND MIGRATION

High and rising housing costs have long been a concern in cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. A growing chorus of employers and policymakers are warning that the high cost of housing in some cities is undermining the ability to attract and retain workers and businesses, making affordable housing high on the public policy agenda.

My research in this area has called attention to the issue of affordable housing and its consequences for migration. For example, the share of renters in Greater Boston who are “cost burdened”—spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing—has increased from 35 percent in 2000 to more than 45 percent now (Modestino et al. 2019). Although migration decisions are based on a variety of factors including labor market conditions, per capita incomes, and housing affordability—the importance of housing affordability as a determining factor has risen considerably since the late 1970s as house prices have diverged across regions over time (Sasser 2010). However, reduced mobility during the Great Recession arising from negative housing equity had little impact on the national unemployment rate—on the order of less than one-tenth of a percentage point each year—largely due to the lower mobility of homeowners compared to renters (Modestino and Dennett 2013).

PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS

Published, In-Press, or Accepted

Modestino, A. & Dennett, J. 2013. Are Americans Locked into Their Houses? The Impact of
Housing Market Conditions on State-to-State Migration. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 43(2): 322-337.
[Publication]
[Working Paper Version]

Sasser, A. 2010. Voting with Their Feet? Local economic conditions and state migration Patterns. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 40(2-3): 122-135.
[Publication]
[Working Paper Version]

PUBLIC POLICY REPORTS AND BRIEFS

Modestino, A., Bernstein, C., Clark, C., Hopper, T., Melnik, M., & Zigler, C.. 2019. Greater Boston Housing Report Card. The Boston Foundation (forthcoming).

Bluestone, B., Tumber, C., Lee, N., Modestino, A., Costello, L., & Davis, T. 2015. Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2014. The Boston Foundation.
[Publication]

Modestino, A. 2013. “Retaining Recent College Graduates in New England: An Update on Current Trends.”  Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, New England Public Policy Center Policy, Policy Brief No. 13-2.
[Publication]

Sasser, A.  2009. “Lasting Connections: Using Internships to Retain Recent College Graduates in New England.”  Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, New England Public Policy Center, Policy Brief No. 09-3.
[Publication]

Sasser, A.  2009.  “Retention of Recent College Graduates in New England.”  Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, New England Public Policy Center, Policy Brief No. 09-2.
[Publication]

Saas, D.  & Sasser, A. 2007. Crowded out of the Housing Market. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, New England Public Policy Center, Policy Brief No. 07-2.
[Publication]

Sasser, A. 2007. The New England Rental Market. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, New England Public Policy Center, Policy Brief No. 07-1.
[Publication]

Sasser, A., Zhao, B., & Saas, D. 2006. The Lack of Affordable Housing in New England: How Big a Problem? Why Is It Growing? What Are We Doing About It? Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, New England Public Policy Center, Working Paper No. 06-1.
[Publication]

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