Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Rent Control: Do Economists Agree?

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Abstract

This paper organizes the judgments of economists regarding the impact of rent controls in the American context. The review is limited to journal articles listed by the American Economic Association’s electronic bibliography, EconLit, under the subject search “Rent Control,” and articles cited by those EconLit-listed articles. My findings cover research on many dimensions of the issue, including housing availability, maintenance and housing quality, rental rates, political and administrative costs, and redistribution. It is fair to say that the literature points to a conclusion against rent control, yet as of 2001, about 140 jurisdictions in the United States persist in some form of the intervention.

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Volume (Issue)
Pages
73-112
Published
JEL classification
R21, R31, R38, R41, L51
Keywords
Rent control, maintenance, housing availability, price ceiling, price control, vacancy allowance
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