Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

A Nation of Gamblers: Real Estate Speculation and American History

Contents:

Author Info

  • Edward L. Glaeser
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The great housing convulsion that buffeted America between 2000 and 2010 has historical precedents, from the frontier land boom of the 1790s to the skyscraper craze of the 1920s. But this time was different. There was far less real uncertainty about fundamental economic and geographic trends, making the convulsion even more puzzling. During historic and recent booms, sensible models could justify high prices on the basis of seemingly reasonable projections about stable or growing prices. The recurring error appears to be a failure to anticipate the impact that elastic supply will eventually have on prices, whether for cotton in Alabama in 1820 or land in Las Vegas in 2006. Buyers don't appear to be irrational but rather cognitively limited investors who work with simple heuristic models, instead of a comprehensive general equilibrium framework. Low interest rates rarely seem to drive price growth; underpriced default options are a more common contributor to high prices. The primary cost of booms has not typically been overbuilding, but rather the financial chaos that accompanies housing downturns.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.103.3.1
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/may2013/P2013_7000_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 1-42

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:1-42

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.1
    Contact details of provider:
    Email:
    Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/
    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information:
    Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Jason Barr, 2007. "Skyscrapers and the Skyline: Manhattan, 1895-2004," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2007-002, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
    2. James M. Poterba, 1983. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset Market Approach," Working papers 339, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    4. Herbert J Gans, 1969. "Planning for people, not buildings," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 1(1), pages 33-46, January.
    5. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805, 05.
    6. Field, Alexander James, 1992. "Uncontrolled Land Development and the Duration of the Depression in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 785-805, December.
    7. Glaeser, Edward & Saiz, Albert & Gyourko, Joseph, 2008. "Housing Supply and Housing Bubbles," Scholarly Articles 2962640, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
    9. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296, August.
    10. James Poterba, 2004. "Taxation and Corporate Payout Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 171-175, May.
    11. Jackson, Jerry R., 1979. "Intraurban variation in the price of housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 464-479, October.
    12. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," NBER Working Papers 11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Harley, C. Knick, 1978. "Western Settlement and the Price of Wheat, 1872–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 865-878, December.
    14. Fernando Ferreira, 2008. "You Can Take it With You: Proposition 13 Tax Benefits, Residential Mobility, and Willingness to Pay for Housing Amenities," Working Papers 08-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    15. Robert J. Shiller, 2007. "Historic Turning Points in Real Estate," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1610, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    16. Rousseau, Peter L., 2002. "Jacksonian Monetary Policy, Specie Flows, And The Panic Of 1837," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 457-488, June.
    17. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Ellwood, David T, 1979. "An Empirical Reconciliation of Micro and Grouped Estimates of the Demand for Housing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 199-205, May.
    18. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
    19. Farley Grubb, 2009. "Land Policy: Founding Choices and Outcomes, 1781-1802," NBER Working Papers 15028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Officer, Lawrence H., 1983. "Dollar-Sterling Mint Parity and Exchange Rates, 1791–1834," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 579-616, September.
    21. Graves, Philip E., 1980. "Migration and climate," MPRA Paper 19916, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
    23. Harding, John P. & Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Sirmans, C.F., 2007. "Depreciation of housing capital, maintenance, and house price inflation: Estimates from a repeat sales model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 193-217, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Diego A. Salzman & Remco C.J. Zwinkels, 2013. "Behavioural Real Estate," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-088/IV/DSF57, Tinbergen Institute.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:1-42. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.