The Impact of Housing Prices on Health in the United States Before, During, and After the Great Recession

Jaesang Sung, Qihua Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We estimate the effects of U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Area housing prices on a variety of health outcomes and health-related behaviors separately for homeowners and tenants. The constructed data set consists of information on individuals from the 2002–2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System combined with homeownership data from the March Current Population Survey and housing prices from Freddie Mac. We estimate positive effects on homeowners' mental health when housing prices increase. We also find negative effects on tenants' health and health-related behaviors with increases in housing prices. These estimated contemporaneous effects are concentrated among low-income homeowners and tenants, and the effects for tenants are not persistent in the long run. However, the cumulative effects of an increase in housing prices on obesity become more pronounced for homeowners in the long run, resulting in worse self-reported health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)910-940
Number of pages31
JournalSouthern Economic Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020



  • I12
  • I14
  • I18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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