photo of Chris Cunningham

Chris Cunningham

Research Economist and Assistant Policy Adviser

Research Department
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
1000 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30309-4470
404-498-8977
Chris.Cunningham@atl.frb.org

To interview economists, press should contact Public Affairs at 404-498-8748.

  • Biography

    Chris Cunningham is a research economist and assistant policy adviser on the regional team in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. His major research interests are housing and land-use regulation.

    Prior to joining the Bank in 2005, Dr. Cunningham was a graduate research associate at Syracuse University's Center for Policy Research. He also worked as a research analyst for the Law and Economics Consulting Group and as a research assistant for the Economic Consulting Services, both in Washington, D.C.

    Dr. Cunningham received both his doctorate and master's degree in economics from Syracuse University. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from George Washington University. He is a member of the American Economics Association, the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, and the North American Regional Science Council.

  • Research

    Research Areas

    Urban Economics, State and Local Public Economics, Real Estate Economics

    Articles Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals

    Cheung, Ron, Chris Cunningham, and Rachel Meltzer. 2013. "Do Homeowners Associations Help or Aggravate Negative Spillovers from Neighboring Homeowner Distress?" Journal of Housing Economics.

    Cunningham, Chris and Rob Reed. 2013. "Negative Equity and Wages." Regional Science and Urban Economics 43: 841–49. [lead article]

    Cheung, Ron and Chris Cunningham. 2011. "Who Supports Portable Assessment Caps: The Role of Lock-in, Tax Share and Mobility." Regional Science and Urban Economics 41 (3): 173–86 [lead article]

    Cunningham, Chris and Gary V. Engelhardt. 2008. "Housing Capital-Gains Taxation and Homeowner Mobility: Evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997." Journal of Urban Economics 63 (3): 803–15.

    Cunningham, Chris. 2007. "Growth Controls, Real Options and Land Development." Review of Economics and Statistics 89 (2): 343–58.

    Cunningham, Chris. 2006. "House Price Uncertainty, Timing of Development, and Vacant Land Prices: Evidence for Real Options in Seattle." Journal of Urban Economics 59 (1): 1–31. [lead article]

    Cunningham, Chris and Gary V. Engelhardt. 2002. "Federal Tax Policy, Employer Matching, and 401(k) Saving: Evidence from HRS W-2 Records." National Tax Journal, 55 (3): 617–45.

    Book Chapters

    Cunningham, Chris, Gary V. Engelhardt, and Anil Kumar. 2007. "Measuring Pension Wealth." In Transitioning to Retirement: How Will Boomers Fare?, edited by Olivia S. Mitchell, Beth J. Soldo, and Brigitte Madrian. Oxford University Press.

    Blog Posts

    "Limiting Property Tax Assessment to Slow Gentrification." 2014. Atlanta Fed Real Estate Research (blog). March 27, 2014.

    Podcasts

    2008 "Examining the Southeast's Water Supply".

    Papers in the Revise-and-Resubmit Stage

    "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly."

    Atlanta Fed Working Papers

    2013-19
    Housing Wealth and Wage Bargaining
    Chris Cunningham
    December 2013
    Abstract | Full text in PDF (163 KB)

    2013-18
    Do Homeowners Associations Mitigate or Aggravate Negative Spillovers from Neighboring Homeowner Distress?
    Ron Cheung, Chris Cunningham, and Rachel Meltzer
    December 2013
    Abstract | Full text in PDF (348 KB)

    2012-20
    Housing Wealth and Wage Bargaining
    Chris Cunningham and Robert R. Reed
    December 2012
    Abstract | Full text in PDF (289 KB)

    2009-19a
    Who Supports Portable Assessment Caps?: The Role of Lock-Ins, Tax Share, and Mobility
    Ron Cheung and Chris Cunningham
    Revised October 2010
    Abstract | Full text in PDF (1.9 MB)

    Other Working Papers

    "Private Debt and Local Public Expenditures" (with Ron Cheung and Stephan Whitaker).

    "The Role of Housing Equity for Labor Market Activity" (with Rob Reed).

    "Heterogeneous Returns to Knowledge Exchange: Evidence from the Urban Wage Premium" (with Michaela C Patton and Robert Reed).

    "Urban Wage Premium and the Agglomeration of Specialized Knowledge" (with Michaela C Patton and Robert Reed).

    "Private Valuation of Public Insurance: The Capitalization of Citizens Wind Insurance into House Prices" (with Ron Cheung and Charles Nyce).

    "Why Vote with Your Feet When You Can Just Vote: Fiscal Determinants of Annexation" (with Ron Cheung).

    "Homevoters and New Development Density."

    Other Articles

    "Smart Growth and Rebuilding the Mississippi Gulf Coast" 2006. EconSouth 8 (2). 4–8.

  • Curriculum Vitae

    Education

    Syracuse University Ph.D. 2005, Economics
    Dissertation Title: Uncertainty, Zoning and Land Development
    Dissertation Committee: Stuart S. Rosenthal (Chair), Gary V. Engelhardt, Dan Black, William Horrace

    Syracuse University M.A. 2004, Economics, 1997

    George Washington University B.S. in Economics, 1997

    Employment

    Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
    Research Economist and Assistant Policy Adviser. Atlanta, Georgia
    August 2005–present

    Georgia State University
    Adjunct Professor. Atlanta, Georgia
    May 2012–present

    Syracuse University/Center for Policy Research
    Graduate Research Associate to Gary Engelhardt. Syracuse, New York
    2000–02, 2003–04

    Law and Economics Consulting Group (LECG)
    Research Analyst/Associate in antitrust and damages. Washington, DC
    1998–2000

    Economic Consulting Services (ECS)
    Research Assistant in antidumping and transfer pricing. Washington, DC
    1997–98

    Brookings Institution, Governmental Studies Program
    Research Intern. Washington, DC
    1996–97

    International Downtown Association (trade association for business improvement districts)
    Intern. Washington, DC
    1996–97

    Honors

    Homer Hoyt Institute Annual Dissertation Award (AREUEA), first place 2005
    Outstanding Dissertation Award, Syracuse University, 2005
    Moynihan Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, Maxwell School, Syracuse University,
    2005.

    Research Support

    Maxwell Dean's Dissertation Fellowship, 2004

    Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Early Doctoral Student Research Grant: #H-21367SG, 2002-2003, "Growth Controls Real Options and Land Development"

    National Institute on Aging Grant #1 RO1 AG022987-01, "Pension Wealth Calculator for Employer-Provided Plans," Principle Investigator (with Gary V. Engelhardt and Anil Kumar)

    Eggers Summer Scholars Grant, 2003
    Roscoe Martin Research Support Grant, 2003
    Tom Speranza Graduate Research Assistantship in Tax Policy, 2002
    Summer Research Grant, Department of Economics, 2001

    Popular Press

    "Assessment Caps May Not Be Enough." 2009. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 13, A5.

    "Clearing the Roadways: The Case for Congestion Pricing." 2008. EconSouth 10 (2) (second quarter).

    "America’s Infrastructure Funding Gap." 2008. EconSouth 10 (2) (second quarter) (with Ed English).

    "Smart Growth and the Rebuilding of the Mississippi Gulf Coast." 2006. EconSouth 8 (2) (second quarter) 2006.

    Academic Conference Presentations

    2013 WEAI, Seattle, "Negative Equity and Wages"

    2012 Federal Reserve System Regional Economics Meeting, Philadelphia, "Negative Equity and Wages"

    Urban Economics Association at NARSC Meetings Ottawa, "Negative Equity and Wages"

    2010 Southern Economics Association, Atlanta, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    Federal Reserve System Regional Economics Meeting, New Orleans, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    NARSC, Denver, "Valuing Neighborhood Schools"

    University of British Columbia, Summer Symposium, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    2009 NARSC, San Francisco, "Vote with Your Feet When You Can Just Vote: Evidence from Annexations"

    WEAI, Vancouver, July, "Why Vote with Your Feet When You Can Just Vote: Evidence from Annexations"

    ASSA, San Francisco, January, "Determinants of Annexation"

    2008 NARSC-Brooklyn, November, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    APPAM, Los Angeles, November, "Annexation and the Demand for Local Control"

    AREUEA-Mid Year, Washington, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    2007 WEAI, Seattle, July, "The Capital Gains Treatment of Housing and Mobility: Evidence from TRA97"

    ASSA, Chicago, January, "The Capital Gains Treatment of Housing and Mobility: Evidence from TRA97"

    2006 APPAM, Madison, "New Housing Density, Homeownership and Growth Management"

    NARSC, Toronto, "Homebuyers' Valuation of Protected Open Space: Evidence from Rocky Mountain Communities"

    AREUEA-International Meeting, Vancouver, July, "Homebuyers' Valuation of Protected Open Space: Evidence from Rocky Mountain Communities"

    ASSA Meeting, Boston, January, "Existing Homeowners and New Development Density"

    2005 North American Regional Science Meeting, Las Vegas, November, "Existing Homeowners and New Development Density"

    2004 North American Regional Science Meeting, Seattle, "Real Options, Growth Controls and Land Development: Evidence from Seattle"

    AREUEA Midyear Meeting, Washington, DC, "House Price Uncertainty, Timing of Development and Vacant Land Prices: Evidence for Real Options in Seattle." June.

    PAA Meeting, Boston, Poster session, "Peer-effects and Fertility: Evidence from Rural South Africa" March. (with Solveig Argeseanu)

    ASSA Meeting, San Diego, January, "Real Options, Rural Land Conversions, and Urban Growth Boundaries: Evidence from Seattle"

    Invited Presentations

    2012 West Virginia University, "Negative Equity and Wages" University of Alabama, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    2011 Georgia State University, "Determinants of Annexation"

    2010 University of British Columbia, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    2008 Georgia State University, "Who Supports Portable Assessment Caps: The Role of Lock-in, Tax Share and Mobility"

    2007 Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, "Valuing Neighborhood Schools", Georgia State University, "Estimating the Holdout Premium in Land Assembly"

    2006 Federal Reserve Board of Governors, "Existing Homeowners and New Development Density."

    East Carolina University, "Existing Homeowners and New Development Density."

    2005 Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia State University, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Toronto, Baruch-CUNY, University of British Columbia, "Uncertainty and the Timing of Development."

    2004 University of Georgia, Syracuse University, "Uncertainty and the Timing of Development."

    Teaching and Guest Lectures

    2008 Berry College, "Running Out of Water"

    2007 Agnes Scott College, "The Capital Gains Treatment of Housing and Mobility: Evidence from TRA97"

    Referee

    American Economic Review, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Economic Inquiry, Environment and Planning, Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Economic Geography, Journal of Housing Economics, Journal of Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Public Policy and Management, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Labour Economics, National Tax Journal, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Real Estate Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics

    Select Discussion

    2013 HULM, Wisconsin/Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    2012 AREUEA, NARSC, NTA

    2011 HLUM, Wisconsin/Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

    2010 ASSA, Local Budgets and the Housing Crisis, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Real Estate Conference, SEA

    2009 AREUEA, NARSC, SEA, NTA

    2008 AREUEA, AREUEA Mid-year, Federal Reserve System Regional Meeting, NARSC, NTA, SEA

    2007 Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, AREUEA Mid-Year, WEAI

    2006 AREUEA, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, AREUEA-International Meeting, APPAM, NARSC

    2005 NARSC

    2004 NARSC

    Service

    2013 cohost NARSC Atlanta

    2012 editor, EconSouth

    Professional Associations

    American Economics Association, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA), North American Regional Science Council