Abstract: Paper No. 182

Where Do the Rents Go? Land Ownership in an Urban Model

Stephen Ross and John Yinger

November 1996 

Despite the predominance of homeownership, general equilibrium urban models assume that rents flow to absentee landlords or are redistributed to residents. This paper explores open urban models with more realistic forms of land ownership, namely ownership of shares in a land corporation and individual home ownership. These models, which produce capital gains and losses for residents, can yield different comparative static results than previous open models, with post-shock bid functions that are flatter at the periphery or steeper at the center. Moreover, shocks to these models cannot in general be analyzed without knowing the characteristics of all the urban areas in the system.

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