Wealthy foreign real estate buyers have increased rapidly over the past few decades. Of particular note are those from China; in 2016 alone, Chinese buyers were the source of over 100 billion USD of outflows to real estate markets worldwide. In this paper, we investigate the effect that these wealthy Chinese buyers have on local U.S. housing markets, local governments and residents. Using a novel instrument, we demonstrate that an increase in the share of wealthy Chinese buyers in a locality causes an increase in house price growth. As a result of this increased growth, local governments benefit from increased property tax revenues but do not see a drop in sales tax revenues, suggesting that the vacancy rate for Chinese-owned properties is no different from that of counterfactual buyers. A drop in rental prices suggests that wealthy Chinese buyers are more likely to rent out their houses and less likely to move into them.
This paper examines the state-building process in multi-ethnic societies. Specifically, we study the Ujamaa policy in Tanzania from 1970--1981, one of the largest policy experiments in post-colonial Africa aimed at building a national identity among the population and establishing the new post-independence state as a legitimate authority. The policy brought much, but not all of the country's population to live in planned villages, where children were exposed to public education whose content reflected the new government's political goals. We combine differences in the intensity of villagization across districts with differences in the exposure to the timing of the policy across age cohorts to identify the effect of the Ujamaa policy on citizens' attitudes. We show persistent, positive effects on national identity, as measured by survey responses and inter-ethnic marriage decisions. Treated cohorts are less likely to demand democratic accountability: they express positive views for a strong central state and question less state authority.
This paper provides evidence of the long-run effects of a permanent increase in agricultural productivity on conflict. We construct a newly digitized and geo-referenced dataset of battles in Europe, the Near East, and North Africa from 1400–1900 CE and examine variation in agricultural productivity due to the introduction of potatoes from the Americas to the Old World after the Columbian Exchange. We find that the introduction of potatoes led to a sizeable and permanent reduction in conflict.