2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Pandemic Housing Shocks and the Effects on US Labor Markets

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kelly Chen and Dr. Rafael Ribas


The goal of this project is to identify how housing price shocks have affected labor markets in the post-pandemic US. I plan to analyze how a shock in housing prices affects commuting time at the Metropolitan level. The economic intuition is that when the change in housing prices is large, then we will see commute times increase as workers move to more affordable locations. I will be collecting data on single-family housing prices (using Zillow), and then commute time (American Community Survey) at the metro level. Then I will create a shock and response variable. The shock will be measured as the log change in housing value for a specified time frame, and the response will be the commuting time 1 year after the shock. This lag is necessary so that the shock has time to take effect. Additionally, I will include demographic information as covariates.

I am interested in this research as little has been done in this area, but also because of the relation to persistent inflation. As workers start to take higher home costs and persistent inflation into consideration, they will demand higher wages. In equilibrium, this shift will lead to higher wages, but fewer workers. Thus, continuing labor shortages around the US.

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