Research & Policy

In the picture: view from a bike ride via South Street Bridge, Philadelphia

Research field and interests: Urban Economics; Housing and Labor Economics; Inequality. 

Working Papers

Labor Market Shocks across Heterogeneous Housing Markets (JMP) 

Abstract: In this paper I study how changes in the composition of the local residents due to structural technological changes have shaped the cross-section of housing prices within cities in Germany during the period 2007-2021. To do so I combine a large listing dataset containig information on housings at the 1x1km2 grid level with administrative data for the labor market.  I first show that the price of housings of different quality evolved heterogeneously both between and within cities, and that housings of low-quality have gained more value in big cities than in the rest of the country, making the local market there more homogeneous. By relying on a shift-share approach, I study the impact of the variation in the abstract jobs at different quartile of the housing prices/quality distribution. I show that this change in the composition of the local demand has heterogeneous effects along the housing prices distribution, and can be seen as a spillover effect from the top to the bottom of the distribution due to mis-smatches in the local housing sub-markets. Finally, I study the implications for the local workers in terms of welfare and the displacement effects of low-skilled workers.

[Full Paper

Better houses or pricey lands? A decompositional approach to study changes in the local housing markets in Germany

Abstract: The main goal of this study is to disentangle the contribution of two factors, namely the improvements in the quality of dwellings and the changes in the locations’ values, to the variation in the local housing prices and rents in Germany. I study prices and rents evolution over the period 2011-2018 applying decomposition techniques, both across space and over time, using a novel data set based on Internet ads. I exploit the richness of information contained in these datasets to construct and compare quantile- and location- specific quality adjusted rent and price indices following the quantile hedonic method to study how the implicit prices of the housing characteristics and the location vary across their conditional distribution. Despite the short time series, I observe a significant surge in both prices and rents, with prices rising more than rents. Rents and prices at the top of the distribution have increased faster than in other segments of the market. Results from the decomposition analyses show that there exists a large rent and price premium associated to the location, and this has increased over time for superstar cities while decreasing for the rest of Germany. Moreover, quality improvements had a negligible effect on the rise in prices and rents over time, while changes in the demand structure and locations’ values explain most of the shifts across different market segments. These results all together reveal that locations’ values, and their changes, explain a large part of the rents and prices spatial and temporal variations.

[Full Paper

Unconventional innovation and the inequality in cities (with G. Lo Conte and S. Rocchetta)

Abstract: In this paper, we aim at exploring how different types of innovation, and in particular how unconventional and incremental innovation, affect wage inequality within cities. We exploit the local labor markets variation in patenting across different technological classes to build a shift-share instrument to causally link the growth in atypical/unconventional combinations of patents to changes in the within-county wage inequality for the period 1995-2019. In a set of preliminary results, in line with Berkes et al. (2021) we show that unconventional innovation disproportionately takes place in highly dense urban areas and that these areas account for the highest increase in the within-county wage inequality.

(Working paper available soon)

Work in progress

Externalities from the social housing assignment process: the case of the city of Milan (with M. Cavallo and O. Ben Salha


Policy Reports 


Others (in Italian)