Date of this Version
Journal of Public Economics
Desegregation is a key policy issue in many countries. I investigate a residential desegregation program in Singapore — the ethnic housing quotas. I show that choice restrictions imposed on apartment blocks above the quota limits (constrained) could have distortionary effects, causing price and quantity differences for constrained versus unconstrained blocks. I test these predictions by hand-matching more than 500,000 names in the phonebook to ethnicities, to calculate ethnic proportions at the apartment block level. I can then investigate differences for constrained and unconstrained blocks close to the quota limits and test for sorting around the limits. I find that price differences are between 3% and 5%. Quantity effects are economically significant, translating to longer time-on-market durations. Selection cannot fully explain these results. My results point to challenges in achieving desegregation using quantity restrictions.
© 2014. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
segregation, regulation, ethnic, quotas
Wong, M. (2014). Estimating the Distortionary Effects of Ethnic Quotas in Singapore Using Housing Transactions. Journal of Public Economics, 115 131-145. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.04.006
Date Posted: 27 November 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.