“Cities worldwide are regulating online short-term rental platforms, such as Airbnb. One rationale behind these regulations is that short-term renting removes apartments from the long-term rental market, thereby contributing to rising rents. Documenting and quantifying such a causal relationship is, however, challenging.
Understanding the effectiveness of short-term rental regulation and whether it actually affects rents is important for assessing these regulations ex-post and to guide policy-making with regard to online short-term rental platforms in the future.
In this paper, we address two main issues: First, we assess whether policy changes induced by short-term rental regulation in Berlin (the so-called ZweckentfremdungsverbotGesetz (ZwVbG)) affected the supply of apartments on Airbnb, the largest online short-term rental platform. Second, we use the plausibly exogenous variation in Airbnb listings due to the policy changes to analyze the causal link between Airbnb and rents. Furthermore, we shed light on the heterogeneity of the effect with regard both to the geography as well as to characteristics of Airbnb listings and rental apartments.”