Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Real Estate

First Advisor

Dr. Jon Wiley

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Gibler

Third Advisor

Dr. Vincent Yao

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Crocker Liu (external)


Essay 1: Institutional Investment, Asset Illiquidity, and Post-Crash Housing Market Dynamics

Abstract: I demonstrate that housing’s mildly segmented market structure adds an additional measure of asset illiquidity risk for owner-occupiers and their lenders by examining the effect of a house’s conversion from the owner-occupied market to the rental market. From 2012 to 2014, I find that owner-occupied houses that were purchased by institutional investors and converted to rentals after the real estate crisis sold for approximately 5% less than similar houses that sold to owner-occupiers. The large discount was in addition to REO, foreclosure, short sale, and cash purchase discounts which, when combined, highlight the low liquidation value for owner-occupied housing.

Essay 2: Homeownership: An examination of its effect on house prices

Abstract: Subsidizing homeownership is only justifiable if it increases homeownership attainment and creates external benefits that outweigh their costs. Using parcel-level panel data I isolate and examine the effect of homeownership on surrounding house prices. Homeownership has a causal effect on house prices, but substantial variation exists across quantiles. Changes in homeownership have a lesser (greater) effect on house prices in the upper (lower) deciles of the conditional house price distribution - despite the fact that households in the upper deciles are the primary beneficiaries of the federal tax subsidies for homeownership.

Essay 3: School Quality, Latent Demand, and Bidding Wars for Houses

Abstract: I examine the recent rise of bidding wars and their effectiveness relative to traditional listing strategies. A simple theoretical model predicts that underpricing a house to incite a bidding war will be most effective in housing markets with high levels of latent demand. I use school quality as a proxy for latent demand as households with children naturally want their kids to go to the best school possible. I posit that the limited supply of housing within high quality school districts creates latent demand for housing within those districts. Evidence from Atlanta supports the model - I find that underpricing a house to incite a bidding war is more effective in markets with latent demand. However, underpricing does not outperform traditional listing strategies.