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Rent Control

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"Rent Control"

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Like all informed people, I’ve always taken it for granted that rent control laws, while obviously nice for the occupants and rent controlled apartments, are ultimately quite inefficient and harmful to the overall housing situation in an area. But Tyler Cowen’s evil twin Tyrone turns out to be able to mount a pretty decent case for rent control. At the end of the day, this still probably isn’t very good policy, but the proposition that if we can get “everyone into a lower price, lower quality equilibrium for residences, that’s for the better” is certainly something I can endorse. Of course before we go around trying to accomplish that by means of rent control, the simplest thing would be to scale back (or eliminate) the mortgage interest tax deduction which has everyone in a higher-price, higher-quality equilibrium than they’d otherwise be in.

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