From Public Housing to Private Housing: Spatial Pattern of Public Housing Purchase in Transitional China

Jing Song, Brown University

China’s housing reform has led to in a wide-spread “renting-to-owning” switch, as well as a rise in the purchase of public housing. The paper uses the China 2000 Population Census Data to examine how the spatial pattern of aggregate housing tenure choice is influenced by market-related and institutional characteristics at the county level. The OLS model shows that the organizational patronage helps to translate the home-purchase impulse into homeownership, and the transitional public housing sector particularly rewards employees of high human capital. Besides the effect of spatial variability in demographic and structural terms, the spatial regime analysis further illustrates that factors like low-income prevalence and industrial employment act differently from the southeastern regime to the northwestern regime. Such a difference is moderated after introducing a spatially-autocorrelated error term, which implies that the dynamics of “homeownership boom” varies by localized economic and policy settings, and needs to be contextualized in larger social processes.

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Presented in Poster Session 4