Housing search and consumption adjustment

by Kevin F. McCarthy


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Most residential mobility models concentrate on the decision to move while ignoring the housing search process and its effects on the housing adjustments households make when they move. This paper introduces a three-stage search model designed to explain which households search, what procedures they use, and how those procedures influence their moving behavior. Hypotheses derived from the model are tested using survey data collected as part of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment. These hypotheses consider how search procedures and the frequency of discrimination vary by income level and race, how discrimination affects search effort, and how search procedures affect moving behavior. The paper concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and policy implications of the results.

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