©2019 by Xiaodi Li


Xiaodi Li

I'm a fifth-year PhD student at New York University. My research interests are in urban economics. I'm on the job market this year, and I will attend ASSA in San Diego for interviews.

Here is my CV.

If you're interested in my research, please don't hesitate to contact me at xl1060@nyu.edu



There is a growing debate about whether new housing units increase rents for immediately surrounding apartments. Some argue that new market-rate development produces a supply effect, which should alleviate the demand pressure on existing housing units and decreasing their rents. Others contend that new development will attract high-income households and new amenities, generating an amenity effect and driving up rents. In this paper, I contribute to this debate by estimating the impact of new high-rises on nearby residential rents, residential property sales prices, and restaurant openings in New York City. To address the selection bias that developers are more likely to build new high-rises in fast-appreciating areas, I restrict the sample to residential properties near approved new high-rises and exploit the plausibly exogenous timing of completion conditional upon the timing of approval. I provide event study evidence that for every 10% increase in the housing stock, rents decrease 1% and sales prices also decrease within 500 feet. I also show that new high-rises attract new restaurants, which is consistent with the hypothesis about amenity effects. However, I find that the supply effect is larger, causing net reductions in the sales prices and rents of nearby residential properties.

Cambridge Handbook on the Law of the Sharing Economy (2018)

The density of urban areas makes them economically productive, but it also makes them more vulnerable in the face of climate change and the extreme weather events that it provokes.  In this paper, we consider the localized economic impacts of one such extreme event, Hurricane Sandy, on a dense and diverse economy, New York City.  Controlling for exposure to pre-storm risk, we exploit variation in micro-scale post-storm inundation to identify the impact of storm-induced flooding on establishment survival, employment, and sales revenues.  Results indicate that the neighborhood economic losses from Sandy were significant and, as expected, concentrated among retail businesses that tend to serve a more localized consumer base.  After Sandy, retail establishments exposed to higher surge levels experienced higher rates of business closure and larger losses in jobs and sales revenues compared to retail establishments with little or no exposure to inundation. Finally, retail establishment closures are concentrated among smaller and standalone establishments--typically the most vulnerable businesses in good times.

Heterogeneity in the Recovery of Local Real Estate Markets After Extreme Events: The Case of Hurricane Sandy (with Rachel Meltzer and Ingrid Gould Ellen, working paper)

Previous research shows that the Hurricane Sandy had persistent effects on local real estate markets.  But existing studies pay little attention to heterogeneity in market response and recovery.  Neighborhoods with different incomes, demographics, and house prices may recover more or less quickly either because of differences in the resources residents have to repair damaged properties or because of an interaction between underlying market risk and storm risk.  We attempt to disentangle these mechanisms by examining the persistence of effects in the six years after the storm across different types of neighborhoods in New York City. Results indicate that the price of 1-3 family homes that are damaged in the storm drop by about 14 percent and remain 9 percent lower than pre-storm levels six years after the storm. Properties that were not directly damaged but are located on blocks with other damaged properties also see sustained, though smaller, reductions in value.  Counter to previous research, these effects are concentrated in areas outside of existing flood zones. In addition, while damaged properties in both higher and lower income neighborhoods remain depressed in value six years after the storm, the time path of effects is quite different.  Damaged properties in high-income areas experience large initial price shocks but then partially recover, while those in lower income areas appear to experience a delayed response and exhibit no sign of recovery.  Finally, the storm led to a change in the composition of homebuyers in hard-hit areas that were outside the flood zone and/or low-income. After the storm, homebuyers in those areas were more likely to be black and Hispanic.

Which Neighborhoods Join the Sharing Economy and Why? - The Case of the Short-term Rental Market in New York City (working paper)

As the sharing economy has emerged, the short-term rental market has grown. The difference between casual and commercial short-term rental operators is important but seldom discussed. Short-term rental platforms help casual operators earn extra income, bringing benefits to local residents. Unlike casual hosts, commercial operators impose burdens on local residents because they decrease the long-term rental supply and exacerbate housing affordability challenges. In order to understand which neighborhoods in New York City are experiencing the benefits and burdens of short-term rental use, this paper uses data from Inside Airbnb, American Community Survey (ACS), and the Department of City Planning (PLUTO). It concludes that within central areas, neighborhoods with lower long-term rents bear greater burdens from commercial short-term rental use. In addition, neighborhoods with higher Black and Hispanic population shares enjoy fewer benefits from casual short-term rental use.