Do People Overreact? Evidence from the Housing Market After the Wenchuan Earthquake
AbstractThis paper uses the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China as a natural experiment to examine how the housing market reacted to this unforeseen, extreme event. We use a unique transaction dataset for new (under construction) apartment units to analyze the pricing behavior of units in lower versus upper floors before and after the earthquake. We observe that average housing prices decreased after the tremor. However, the relative price of low to high floor units, particularly units located in the first and second floor, considerably increased for several months after the earthquake. This relative pricing pattern is in line with a higher risk perception and fear, triggered after the tremor, of living in upper floors. Additional robustness checks support the apparent overreaction of individuals to a dramatic event.
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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
- R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
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