Boaz Abramson
Job Market Candidate

Stanford University
Department of Economics
579 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305

Available for interviews at the ASSA and the EEA meetings.

Curriculum Vitae

Primary Field:

Secondary fields:
Finance, Urban Economics, Political Economy

Expected Graduation Date:
June, 2022

Dissertation Committee:

Monika Piazzesi (Co-Primary):

Martin Schneider (Co-Primary):

Ran Abramitzky:

Liran Einav:

Chris Tonetti

Job Market Paper

The Welfare Effects of Eviction Policies
This paper studies the implications of rental market policies that address evictions and homelessness. Policies that make it harder to evict delinquent tenants, for example by providing tax-funded legal counsel in eviction cases ("Right-to-Counsel") or by instating eviction moratoria, imply eviction and homelessness are less likely given default. But higher default costs to landlords lead to higher equilibrium rents and lower housing supply. I quantify these tradeoffs in a model of rental markets in a city, matched to micro data on rents and evictions as well as shocks to income and family structure. I find that "Right-to-Counsel" drives up rents so much that homelessness increases by 15% and welfare is dampened. Since defaults on rent are driven by persistent income shocks, stronger protections are ineffective in preventing evictions of delinquent tenants, and lead to a large increase in default premia. In contrast, rental assistance lowers renters' default risk and as a result reduces homelessness by 45% and evictions by 75%, and increases welfare. Eviction moratoria can prevent a spike in evictions following a rare economic downturn, as long as they are used as a temporary measure.

Working Papers

International Integration and Social Identity (with Moses Shayo)
Revise and resubmit, Journal of International Economics
This paper contributes to the literature incorporating social identity into international economics. We develop a theoretical framework for studying the interplay between international integration and identity politics, taking into account that both union policies and identities in candidate countries are endogenous. We find that, in general, a union is more fragile when peripheral member countries have higher status than the Core, as this leads to stronger national identification in equilibrium and lower willingness to compromise. Low-status countries are less likely to secede, even when between-country differences in optimal policies are large and although equilibrium union policies impose significant economic hardship. Contrary to a common anticipation among union advocates, mutual solidarity is unlikely to emerge as a result of integration. Applied to currency unions, we show that the model helps explain the composition of the euro area.

Self-Assessed Financial Literacy in Housing Markets (with Andres Yany)
This paper introduces a novel dimension of household heterogeneity that plays an important role in housing markets. Households who self-assess themselves to be more financially literate are 1) more likely to own a house and 2) take on higher leverage on their home. We solve a heterogeneous agent portfolio choice model to infer the role of mortgage terms and of expectations on future house prices for the empirical patterns. We find that households with higher levels of self-assessed financial literacy are in fact better at the parts of the transaction that are relevant to them, namely access to more accommodating mortgage terms when they are young and better risk-return trade-offs when they are old. Moreover, by ignoring heterogeneity in financial literacy, standard models introduce quantitatively substantial biases in evaluating housing market policies. Housing demand elasticity with respect to wealth is downsized by approximately 40% when taking financial literacy into account.

Work In-Progress

Search to Rent or Search to Own: Housing Market Churn in the Cross Section of Cities (with Tim Landvoigt, Monika Piazzesi and Martin Schneider)

Gone but not Forgotten: The Effect of Death During War on Families (with Helen Kissel)