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Rent Control Study by the National Bureau of Economic Research Finds Rent Control Has the Opposite Effect of its Intention

The study used the price effects caused by the passage of rent control in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2021, to study the transfer of wealth across income groups. It specifically found, 1) That rent control caused property values to fall by 6-7%, for an aggregate loss of $1.6 billion, 2) leveraging administrative parcel-level data, that the residents who gained the most from rent control had higher incomes and were more likely to be white, while the owners who lost the most had lower incomes and were more likely to be minorities. For properties with high-income owners and low-income tenants, the transfer of wealth was close to zero. Thus, to the extent that rent control is intended to transfer wealth from high-income to low-income households, the realized impact of the law was the opposite of its intention. Read more here.

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