Alina Arefeva

Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Assistant Professor, 2018-

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Assistant Professor, 2016-2018

Stanford University, PhD 2016

New Economics School, MA 2011

Higher School of Economics, MA 2010

Higher School of Economics, BA 2008

Research interests:

Real Estate, Urban Economics, Finance, Macroeconomics

Curriculum vitae

My research studies the interaction of institutions and economic policies with real estate and urban markets.

If you are interested in research/project assistant opportunities, please, email me.


  1. The Effect of Capital Gains Taxes on Business Creation and Employment: The Case of Opportunity Zones (joint with Morris Davis, Andra Ghent, and Minseon Park). 2021.

Media Mentions: Brookings, Pew Trusts,

Briefing for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established a new program called Opportunity Zones (OZs) that reduces or eliminates capital gains taxes on investments in businesses or real estate in a limited number of low-income Census tracts. We use a census of establishment-level data on employment to identify the effect of lower capital gains taxes on business and job creation. We show that in metropolitan areas, the OZ designation increased employment growth relative to comparable tracts by between 3.0 and 4.5 percentage points. The job growth occurred in multiple industries and skill levels.

  1. Housing Markets: Auctions, Microstructure Noise, and Weekly Patterns. 2021.

Media Mentions: Wisconsin School of Business Blog

This paper studies volatility in the housing markets by developing dynamic search and matching models with bidding wars, or auctions. The models’ moments are aggregated to the statistics on the offer acceptance dates and the closing dates to emphasize the differences between these statistics in the data. I find that up to 70% of the volatility of monthly home sales and listings in the Los Angeles metro area stems from the intra-week patterns in the data and the microstructure noise in the models. The remaining volatility can be generated by adding exogenous shocks to the models.

  1. Monetary Policy Reestimated (joint with Nikolay Arefyev). 2021.

We propose a new method of identification of the monetary policy rule. Using this method, we argue that, before the Great Moderation, the Federal Reserve implemented the Friedman policy of steady money growth as could be interpreted and adopted by the policymakers in the 1960s and 1970s. During the Great Moderation, the monetary policy follows the Taylor rule with interest rate smoothing instead, where the type of smoothing is more general than discussed in the literature. The estimated impulse response functions for the monetary policy shock are large and significant, even when they are estimated on the Great Moderation data.


  1. Revealing Information in Auctions: the Optimal Auction versus the Second-Price Auction (with Delong Meng). 2021. Economic Letters, 204, 109895.

Working Paper Versions: Information Disclosure in Housing Auctions (extended), Revealing Information in Auctions: the Optimal Auction versus the Second-Price Auction (short).

Media Mentions: Wisconsin School of Business Blog

We study the optimal information disclosure policy in the optimal auction and the second-price auction when the seller has information that additively adjusts the independent private values of the bidders. In this setting, information revelation could change the allocation of the good in both types of auctions. However, in the optimal auction, the change in allocation makes the revenue function convex in the additive adjustments, so the seller should always reveal information. In contrast, in the second-price auction, the change in allocation makes the revenue function non-convex, in which case the seller might benefit from withholding information.


  1. Can Stay-at-Home Orders Create a Pandemic Housing Boom? (with Song Gao, Shengwei Guo, Lu Han, Victor Ortalo-Marti) Slides and 10-min Audio Recording

  2. The Impact of COVID-19 on Commercial Real Estate. Slides

  3. Bidding Wars in the Norwegian Housing Market: Evidence from Millions of Bids (joint with André K. Anundsen and Erling R. Larsen).

  4. Asymmetric Information and Search Frictions in Housing Markets (joint with Shiyan Wei).

  5. The Skyline Model of an Innovative City (joint with Nikolay Arefyev).