Source Themes

The Incidence of Flood Risk

Who is exposed to flood risk? This paper documents the vulnerability and exposure to flood risk with fine-grain data for the universe of homeowners, landlords and tenants in France. I measure vulnerability to floods, diversification strategies and sorting over flood risk across the income and wealth distributions. I find evidence of a two-dimensionnal inequality. Low-income households are both more vulnerable and more exposed to flood risk. I derive the implications of these findings for adaptation policies. (1) The cost buying back homes at risk could be divided by five if it focused on low-income homeowners. (2) A subsidized flood insurance policy funded by insurance premiums would make low-income households transfer 3% of annual flood losses to high-income households through regressive premiums.

Insuring Landlords

This paper demonstrates that unpaid rent risk makes landlords reluctant to supply housing services to fragile tenants; and that insuring owners against it improves the access of renters to high-opportunity neighborhoods. We study the implementation of Visale, a publicly funded rent guarantee insurance policy in France, free of charge to eligible tenants and landlords. We demonstrate that the non-payment guarantee increased access to private-sector rental housing for eligible tenants. The scheme eased the spatial mobility of low-income renters towards higher-wage, higher-rent locations. It led to new household formation, some reallocation of the vacant housing stock, and substitution out of public housing, but may have displaced ineligible households in tighter housing markets.

Who's your landlord? Assortative matching in rental markets

Landlords and tenants, on average, have opposite characteristics; but they display positive assortative matching within rental markets. In a nationwide data set containing administrative information on linked renter-occupiers and owners of investment properties in France, we document assortative matching by income level and composition, wealth, age, marital status and family structure, both across and within fine geographic segments. Consistent with a novel theory of rental housing assignment, the income correlation is only partially explained by observable characteristics such as location, size, or investment timing. This pattern has substantial implications for returns to wealth, and the incidence of housing market policies.

How can we Explain the Recruitment Difficulties Anticipated by Companies?

This study investigates the factors that contribute to difficulties that firms face when trying to recruit new employees. We match firm surveys to firm’s tax records and administrative data to see how factors such as industry, location, company size, and employment characteristics affect recruitment difficulties. Our results show that about 10% of the variance in recruitment difficulties can be explained by these observable factors, and up to 14% when considering difficulties from the previous year. However, most of the difficulties encountered by companies are due to factors not captured by our data, which may be related to internal characteristics of the company such as management quality and the recruitment process.