How College Grads Drive Up Urban Rents

The Atlantic’s “CityLab” highlighted a working paper by Richard Green of the USC Lusk Center and colleagues on how the rise of more educated people with higher incomes in metropolitan areas has increased housing costs. Increased housing costs predominantly affect the less educated. Although Green found that a higher number of college graduates in an area raises incomes for everyone, a 1 percent increase in college grads leads to a roughly 2.5 percent increase in the cost of rent.

working paper by urban economist Richard Green, of the University of Southern California, and Jung Choi, of the Urban Institute takes, a deep dive into this conundrum, using detailed data from the U.S. Census, the American Community Survey, and the longitudinal Panel Study of Income Dynamics to track the impact of college graduates on wages and rents across U.S. metros. The data spans the more-than-three-decade period from 1980 to 2013.


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