Must Agreements Be Kept? Residential Leases during Covid-19 (w/ I. Ater, D. Genesove and E. Hoffman)- Forthcoming, Economic Journal
Citizens in many countries are forced to make their political decisions under the threat of terrorism. This paper explores the effects of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on voting patterns in Israeli elections between 1999 and 2015. Relying on a micro-level dataset of claims for rocket-related property damages as a proxy for the severity of the rocket attacks, I find that an additional one thousand claims in a locality increases right-bloc parties’ vote-share by about 4 percentage points. Recent attacks, initial exposure and geographical proximity lead to stronger effects on voting behavior. The results are driven by actual exposure of the locality to rocket fire rather than by the mere threat of an attack.
Effective Counter-terrorism: Rockets, Iron Dome and the Israeli Housing Market (w/ A. Zussman and N. Zussman), Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2019
How effective is counter-terrorism and what are the underlying mechanisms? Relying on a unique experiment and detailed micro data from Israel, we show that the deployment of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system mitigated the negative effect of rocket attacks on house prices and lowered the price premium associated with in-house shelters. Analysis of surveys and data on purchases of anti-anxiety drugs yields evidence consistent with a psychological mechanism: by reducing the negative effects on daily routine, subjective well-being and psychological distress, Iron Dome lowered the disamenity associated with living under the shadow of the rocket threat.
Rockets: The Housing Market Effects of a Credible Terrorist Threat (w/ A. Zussman and N. Zussman), Journal of Urban Economics, 2017
This paper explores the economic costs of conflict using a unique experiment. We analyze the effects of Hezbollah’s massive surprise rocket attack against northern Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and the continued threat posed by the organization’s expanding rocket arsenal on the housing market, the labor market and patterns of migration flows and sorting. Relying on hedonic and repeat sales approaches and using a difference-in-differences identification strategy for 2000–2012, we show that the attack led to a 6–7% decline in house prices and rents in the most severely hit localities relative to other localities in northern Israel. These effects persisted until 2012, suggesting that the public continued to view the rocket threat as credible. In contrast, we find practically no effect on labor market conditions, migration flows and sorting.
Work in Progress
Real-estate Investors, House Prices and Rents: Evidence from Capital-gains Tax Changes (w/ I. Ater and E. Hoffman)
Minorities and Property Values: Evidence from Residential Buildings in Israel (w/ N. Zussman)- R&R, Journal of Urban Economics
This study estimates, for the first time, individuals’ valuation of living in a building with a member of a minority, by exploiting unique restricted data on about a third of Israel’s neighborhoods. We rely on the hedonic approach and use a difference-in-differences identification strategy, comparing nearby buildings that experienced either early or late entry of minorities. We find that house prices declined by 2-3% after the first move-in of Israelis of Ethiopian origin or Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Our analysis shows that New Immigrants only significantly affect prices during a massive migration wave (-10%) and indicate that Israeli Arabs do not affect prices. Results are not driven by (a) the socio-demographic profile of the minorities who enter, (b) the difference between their profile and the existing residents’ profile, (c) buyers’ and sellers’ profiles after the first minority entrance or (d) neighborhood characteristics. The findings support the hypothesis of segregation due to discrimination.
Did the 1990s IT Boom Cause the Following Employment Bust? (with E. Glaeser, N. Hausman, and K. McElheran)
In the Media
"New research shows that there is a way to cool the real estate market..." (in Hebrew). Globes, August 2021.
“1 in 8 can't pay rent due to COVID-19” (in Hebrew). Ynet, May 13, 2020.
“In Israel, Housing Construction Under Rocket Fire”. U.S. News & World Report, April 29, 2019.
“The Iron Dome Deployment Protected the Value of the Houses in the South and in the North” (in Hebrew). Globes, May 28, 2018.