Evan Mast

Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Contact: mast at upjohn.org

Research Fields: Urban Economics, Real Estate, Public Economics

Curriculum Vitae

Working papers

Media: Crain's Detroit (August 2019), New York Times (September 2019), Minneapolis Star-Tribune (January 2020), CityLab (June 2019), NPR Rochester (June 2019), CBC Vancouver (June 2019), City Observatory (April 2019), Strong Towns (April 2019), Conversable Economist (July 2019).

Conditionally accepted at Review of Economics and Statistics

Media: New York Times (February 2020), Los Angeles Times (April 2019), Bloomberg (January 2020), Globe and Mail (January 2020), City Observatory (June 2019), Strong Towns (January 2020), Curbed SF (January 2020).

R&RReview of Economics and Statistics


American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (January 2020)

Nontechnical summary here.

Media: Bloomberg (February 24, 2020), Newsday (February 11, 2018), Albany Times-Union (July 15, 2017).

Regional Science and Urban Economics (September 2019)

Works in Progress

1. Black Suburbanization and Neighborhood Inequality (with Alex Bartik)

Draft available upon request

The share of the Black population living in the suburbs of the 40 largest American cities rose from 22% to 52% between 1970 and 2016, while the Black population in those central cities has declined by nearly 20% since 2000. We investigate the causes and implications of these trends. Black suburbanizers move to areas with higher socioeconomic status and housing costs than their origin neighborhoods. In the neighborhoods they move to, white flight is muted relative to the post-war period, leading to diverse suburban areas. However, suburbanization of incumbents is not the main cause of population decline in majority-Black city neighborhoods---other city neighborhoods actually lose more population to migration. Instead, low in-migration, particularly of young adults and non-Black households, drives the decline. These patterns have together led suburban areas to account for nearly all improvements in the neighborhood characteristics experienced by Black households, while the average neighborhood income of Black city residents has fallen further behind the national average.

2. Experimental Evaluation of Risk Mitigation in the Rental Housing Market (with Lee Adams, Rob Collinson, and David Phillips)

Perceived tenant risk plays a large role in both the rent landlords charge and the people to whom they choose to rent. Landlords may charge a higher rent to cover potential losses, or they may avoid renting to some populations altogether. This project will evaluate whether mitigating risk for landlords can improve housing stability and access to high-opportunity neighborhoods for people with low incomes and poor credit, a criminal record, or a recent eviction. To do so, we will use a randomized control trial in which treatment and control households will receive vouchers that offer different levels of risk mitigation to landlords that rent to them. The control group voucher will provide a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, from which landlords can deduct both property damages and unpaid rent. The treatment voucher will also provide an additional $1,000 deposit. Tenant outcomes include unit locations and characteristics, rent, and time taken to use the voucher. In addition, we will elicit landlords’ cash valuation of the benefit and estimate how their risk aversion affects rental prices.

3. Cross-Neighborhood Mobility and Implications for Cities, Neighborhoods, and Place-Based Policies (with Davin Reed)

This series of projects will leverage restricted-access Census Bureau microdata to study cross-neighborhood mobility, longitudinal exposure to neighborhood characteristics, and how selective migration affects persistence and change of neighborhood characteristics.