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The Great Housing Boom of China

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  • Kaiji Chen
  • Yi Wen

Abstract

China's housing prices have been growing nearly twice as fast as national income over the past decade, despite a high vacancy rate and a high rate of return to capital. This paper interprets China's housing boom as a rational bubble emerging naturally from its economic transition. The bubble arises because high capital returns driven by resource reallocation are not sustainable in the long run. Rational expectations of a strong future demand for alternative stores of value can thus induce currently productive agents to speculate in the housing market. Our model can quantitatively account for China's paradoxical housing boom.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaiji Chen & Yi Wen, 2017. "The Great Housing Boom of China," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 73-114, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:73-114
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20140234
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hanming Fang & Quanlin Gu & Wei Xiong & Li-An Zhou, 2016. "Demystifying the Chinese Housing Boom," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 105-166.
    2. Margaret, Davenport & Guido, Cozzi, 2017. "Financial Development and Capital Flows: An Application," MPRA Paper 79965, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:chieco:v:50:y:2018:i:c:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gerlagh, Reyer & Jaimes, Richard & Motavasseli, Ali, 2017. "Global demographic change and climate policies," Discussion Paper 2017-035, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Wen, Yi & Wu, Jing, 2014. "Withstanding great recession like China," Working Papers 2014-7, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 21 Oct 2017.
    6. Mali Chivakul & Waikei R Lam & Xiaoguang Liu & Wojciech Maliszewski & Alfred Schipke, 2015. "Understanding Residential Real Estate in China," IMF Working Papers 15/84, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Mark Kruger & Kun Mo & Benjamin Sawatzky, 2016. "The Evolution of the Chinese Housing Market and Its Impact on Base Metal Prices," Discussion Papers 16-7, Bank of Canada.
    8. Chun Chang & Kaiji Chen & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2016. "Trends and Cycles in China's Macroeconomy," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-84.
    9. Song, Zheng (Michael) & Xiong, Wei, 2018. "Risks in China’s financial system," BOFIT Discussion Papers 1/2018, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    10. Alexander Cooper & Arianna Cowling, 2015. "China’s Property Sector," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 45-54, March.
    11. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2015. "Housing Booms and Busts, Labor Market Opportunities, and College Attendance," NBER Working Papers 21587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sun, Tianyu & Chand, Satish & Sharpe, Keiran, 2018. "Effect of Aging on Housing Prices: A Perspective from an Overlapping Generation Model," MPRA Paper 89347, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Makram El-Shagi & Lunan Jiang, 2017. "China Monetary Policy Transmission in China: Dual Shocks with Dual Bond Markets," CFDS Discussion Paper Series 2017/2, Center for Financial Development and Stability at Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan, China.
    14. Jia, Pengfei & Lim, King Yoong, 2018. "Tax Policy and Toxic Housing Bubbles in China," MPRA Paper 86576, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • P24 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - National Income, Product, and Expenditure; Money; Inflation
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • 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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