Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Lessons from the Great American Real Estate Boom and Bust of the 1920s

Contents:

Author Info

  • Eugene N. White

Abstract

Although long obscured by the Great Depression, the nationwide “bubble” that appeared in the early 1920s and burst in 1926 was similar in magnitude to the recent real estate boom and bust. Fundamentals, including a post-war construction catch-up, low interest rates and a “Greenspan put,” helped to ignite the boom in the twenties, but alternative monetary policies would have only dampened not eliminated it. Both booms were accompanied by securitization, a reduction in lending standards, and weaker supervision. Yet, the bust in the twenties, which drove up foreclosures, did not induce a collapse of the banking system. The elements absent in the 1920s were federal deposit insurance, the “Too Big To Fail” doctrine, and federal policies to increase mortgages to higher risk homeowners. This comparison suggests that these factors combined to induce increased risk-taking that was crucial to the eruption of the recent and worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

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.nber.org/papers/w15573.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15573.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Lessons from the Great American Real Estate Boom and Bust of the 1920s , Eugene N. White. in Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective , White, Snowden, and Fishback. 2014
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15573

Note: DAE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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. Grossman, Richard S., 2007. "Fear and greed: The evolution of double liability in American banking, 1865-1930," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 59-80, January.
  2. Leo Grebler & David M. Blank & Louis Winnick, 1956. "Capital Formation in Residential Real Estate: Trends and Prospects," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greb56-1, octubre-d.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  4. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, octubre-d.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 11129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joshua Coval & Jakub Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2009. "The Economics of Structured Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 3-25, Winter.
  7. Barsky, Robert B. & Mankiw, N. Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A. & Weill, David N., 1988. "The worldwide change in the behavior of interest rates and prices in 1914," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1123-1147, June.
  8. Wheelock, David C, 1992. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Failures: New Evidence from the 1920s," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 530-43, July.
  9. Charles Courtemanche & Kenneth A. Snowden, 2010. "Repairing a Mortgage Crisis: HOLC Lending and its Impact on Local Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 16245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Christopher Mayer & Karen Pence & Shane M. Sherlund, 2009. "The Rise in Mortgage Defaults," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 27-50, Winter.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron & David N. Weil, 1987. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve," NBER Working Papers 2124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kool Clemens J. M., 1995. "War Finance and Interest Rate Targeting: Regime Changes in 1914-1918," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 365-382, July.
  13. Robert J Shiller, 2008. "Historic Turning Points in Real Estate," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(1), pages 1-13, Winter.
  14. Fishe, Raymond P H & Wohar, Mark, 1990. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 968-76, September.
  15. Berger, Allen N. & Herring, Richard J. & Szego, Giorgio P., 1995. "The role of capital in financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 393-430, June.
  16. Clark, Truman A, 1986. "Interest Rate Seasonals and the Federal Reserve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 76-125, February.
  17. White, Eugene Nelson, 1986. "Before the Glass-Steagall Act: An analysis of the investment banking activities of national banks," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 33-55, January.
  18. John B. Taylor, 2007. "Housing and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 13682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Gary Gorton, 2009. "The Subprime Panic," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 15(1), pages 10-46.
  20. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and theFounding of the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 125-40, March.
  21. Landon-Lane, John & Rockoff, Hugh, 2007. "The origin and diffusion of shocks to regional interest rates in the United States, 1880-2002," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 487-500, July.
  22. Kroszner, Randall S & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. "Is the Glass-Steagall Act Justified? A Study of the U.S. Experience with Universal Banking before 1933," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 810-32, September.
  23. Rappoport, Peter & White, Eugene N, 1994. "Was the Crash of 1929 Expected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 271-81, March.
  24. Kris James Mitchener, 2007. "Are Prudential Supervision and Regulation Pillars of Financial Stability? Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 273-302.
  25. Marcus Miller & Paul Weller & Lei Zhang, 2002. "Moral Hazard and the US Stock Market: Analysing the "Greenspan Put"," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C171-C186, March.
  26. Kenneth A. Snowden, 2010. "The Anatomy of a Residential Mortgage Crisis: A Look Back to the 1930s," NBER Working Papers 16244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Alston Lee J. & Grove Wayne A. & Wheelock David C., 1994. "Why Do Banks Fail? Evidence from the 1920s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 409-431, October.
  28. Raymond W. Goldsmith & Robert E. Lipsey & Morris Mendelson, 1963. "Studies in the National Balance Sheet of the United States, Vol. 2," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold63-2, octubre-d.
  29. Puri, Manju, 1994. "The long-term default performance of bank underwritten security issues," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 397-418, January.
  30. David C. Wheelock, 1991. "Regulation and bank failures: new evidence from the agricultural collapse of the 1920's," Working Papers 1991-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  31. Mitchener, Kris James, 2005. "Bank Supervision, Regulation, and Instability During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(01), pages 152-185, March.
  32. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. White, Eugene, 1995. "Deposit insurance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1541, The World Bank.
  34. Charles W. Calomiris & Eugene N. White, 1994. "The Origins of Federal Deposit Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy, pages 145-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Ernest M. Fisher, 1951. "Urban Real Estate Markets: Characteristics and Financing," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fish51-1, octubre-d.
  36. John B. Taylor, 2009. "The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong," NBER Working Papers 14631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Calomiris, Charles W., 1990. "Is Deposit Insurance Necessary? A Historical Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 283-295, June.
  38. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  39. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Caporale, Tony & McKiernan, Barbara, 1998. "Interest Rate Uncertainty and the Founding of the Federal Reserve," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(04), pages 1110-1117, December.
  41. 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.
  42. Grossman, Richard S, 2001. "Double Liability and Bank Risk Taking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 143-59, May.
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:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

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:nbr:nberwo:15573. 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: ().

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.