Beating Rent Control

Greg Mankiw explains a scheme used by some universities in New York City:

1. The university buys a rent-controlled building. The purchase price is low, because the existing landlord cannot make much money renting it.

2. The university then rents the apartments to its own senior faculty, who view this as a great perk. In essence, the difference between the free-market rent and the controlled rent is a form of compensation for the professor. As a result, the university can reduce the professor's cash compensation by an equivalent amount. The university is effectively earning the market rent for the apartment.

Unusually smart for a university administration, don't you think?