Housing is an essential part of the economy, and one that is a source of economic vulnerabilities. More than two-thirds of the 50 systemtic banking crises in recent years were preceded by boom-bust patterns in house prices. Much of the recent rise in wealth inequality is accounted for by housing. In this weekly seminar we will explore the interactions between housing markets, the macroeconomy, and financial crises, from the early-twentieth century to the present across a number of different economies. More specifically, we will look into ways of detecting over-valuation in housing markets and why they often fail; the policies used to manage housing booms and slumps; how housing affects the real economy; and how housing affects financial markets and monetary policy.
The course is open to advanced-level bachelor and master students in economics and history. Students will be required to write weekly summaries of assigned readings, and submit a seminar paper for assessment at the end of the winter term.
Max. 20 participants. Application: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by October, 5, 2015.
The following books give an overview of housing markets, their links with the macroeconomy, and with financial crises. We will read them along with additional journal articles and book chapters.
Mian, A. and Sufi, A. (2014), House of Debt, University of Chicago;
White, E., Snowden, K., and Fishback, P. (eds.) (2014), Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective, University of Chicago;
Bardhan, A., Edelstein, R., and Kroll, C. (2011), Global Housing Markets, New York: John Wiley & Sons.