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Arrested Development: Theory and Evidence of Supply‐Side Speculation in the Housing Market




This paper studies the role of disagreement in amplifying housing cycles. Speculation is easier in the land market than in the housing market due to frictions that make renting less efficient than owner‐occupancy. As a result, undeveloped land facilitates construction and intensifies the speculation that causes booms and busts in house prices. This observation challenges the standard intuition that in cities where construction is easier, house price booms are smaller. It can also explain why the largest house price booms in the United States between 2000 and 2006 occurred in areas with elastic housing supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles G. Nathanson & Eric Zwick, 2018. "Arrested Development: Theory and Evidence of Supply‐Side Speculation in the Housing Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 73(6), pages 2587-2633, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:73:y:2018:i:6:p:2587-2633
    DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12719

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    Cited by:

    1. Cinta Borrero-Domínguez & Encarnación Cordón-Lagares & Rocío Hernández-Garrido, 2020. "Sustainability and Real Estate Crowdfunding: Success Factors," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-13, June.
    2. Xing Su & Zhu Qian, 2020. "State Intervention in Land Supply and Its Impact on Real Estate Investment in China: Evidence from Prefecture-Level Cities," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-15, January.
    3. Møller, Stig & Pedersen, Thomas & Schütte, Erik Christian Montes & Timmermann, Allan, 2021. "Search and Predictability of Prices in the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 15875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Adam Guren & Alisdair McKay & Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2021. "What Do We Learn from Cross-Regional Empirical Estimates in Macroeconomics?," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 175-223.
    5. DeFusco, Anthony A. & Nathanson, Charles G. & Zwick, Eric, 2022. "Speculative dynamics of prices and volume," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 205-229.
    6. Simsek, Alp, 2021. "The Macroeconomics of Financial Speculation," CEPR Discussion Papers 15733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Griffin, John M. & Kruger, Samuel & Maturana, Gonzalo, 2021. "What drove the 2003–2006 house price boom and subsequent collapse? Disentangling competing explanations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(3), pages 1007-1035.
    8. Knut Are Aastveit & Bruno Albuquerque & André Anundsen, 2019. "Changing supply elasticities and regional housing booms," Working Paper 2019/8, Norges Bank.
    9. Han, Bing & Han, Lu & Zhou, Zhengyi, 2020. "Housing Market and Entrepreneurship: Micro Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 102597, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Aug 2020.
    10. Christian A. L. Hilber, 2019. "Immobilienpreise und Immobilienzyklen und die Rolle von Angebotsbeschränkungen [The impact of local supply constraints on house prices and price dynamics]," Zeitschrift für Immobilienökonomie (German Journal of Real Estate Research), Springer;Gesellschaft für Immobilienwirtschaftliche Forschung e. V., vol. 5(1), pages 37-65, November.
    11. Adam M Guren & Alisdair McKay & Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2021. "Housing Wealth Effects: The Long View," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 669-707.
    12. Greg Howard & Jack Liebersohn, . "Regional Divergence and House Prices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Christopher L. Foote & Lara Loewenstein & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Technological Innovation in Mortgage Underwriting and the Growth in Credit: 1985-2015," Working Papers (Old Series) 1816, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Ma, Xutao & Zhang, Zhen, 2022. "Expectations, credit conditions, and housing boom-bust: Evidence from SVAR with sign and zero restrictions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    15. Hu Meiting & Dong Jichang & Yin Lijun & Li Xiuting & Meng Chun, 2021. "A Study on the Relationship Between Land Finance and Housing Price in Urbanization Process: An Empirical Analysis of 182 Cities in China Based on Threshold Panel Models," Journal of Systems Science and Information, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 74-94, February.
    16. Cheol Eun & Lingling Wang & Tim Zhang, 2022. "House Price Growth Synchronization and Business Cycle Alignment," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 65(4), pages 675-710, November.
    17. Botsch, Matthew J. & Malmendier, Ulrike M., 2020. "The Long Shadows of the Great Inflation: Evidence from Residential Mortgages," CEPR Discussion Papers 14934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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