IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Contributions of Economists to the Housing-Price Bubble

  • Martha A. Starr

There has been much discussion of what economists could have done differently to help avert the 2007 financial crisis and "Great Recession" that followed. One issue concerns information supplied by economists to the general public about causes of high appreciation in home prices and their likely future course, as good information could have helped the public hedge their finances against downside risks while bad information may have encouraged them to take on too much risk. This paper analyzes data on views of economists quoted in California newspapers as to whether bubbles were forming in the state's housing markets. We find that the public was fairly decently served by economists offering their views via the media although with some significant problems of biased forecasts not made in good faith, and of inattention to concerns about "harm avoidance" that ought to apply when economists share their opinions in this way.

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:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Economic Issues.

Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 143-172

in new window

Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:1:p:143-172
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Masahiro Ashiya, 2009. "Strategic bias and professional affiliations of macroeconomic forecasters," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 120-130.
  2. Law, Marc T. & Kim, Sukkoo, 2005. "Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 723-756, September.
  3. David Colander & Hans Föllmer & Armin Haas & Michael Goldberg & Katarina Juselius & Alan Kirman & Thomas Lux & Brigitte Sloth, 2009. "The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics," Kiel Working Papers 1489, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," NBER Working Papers 10787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gerald Epstein & Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth, 2010. "Financial Economists, Financial Interests and Dark Corners of the Meltdown: It’s Time to Set Ethical Standards for the Economics Profession," Working Papers wp239_revised, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:1:p:269-298 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. James Crotty, 2008. "Structural Causes of the Global Financial Crisis: A Critical Assessment of the ‘New Financial Architecture’," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2008-14, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  8. Christopher D Carroll, 2002. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," Economics Working Paper Archive 477, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  9. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:1:p:21-40 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2004. "Advising Policymakers Through the Media," IZA Discussion Papers 1001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Jane K. Dokko & Brian M. Doyle & Michael T. Kiley & Jinill Kim & Shane M. Sherlund & Jae W. Sim & Skander J. van den Heuvel, 2009. "Monetary policy and the housing bubble," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:4:p:1449-1496 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521634809, October.
  14. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Christopher L. Foote & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "Reasonable people did disagree : optimism and pessimism about the U.S. housing market before the crash," Public Policy Discussion Paper 10-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  15. Charles P. Himmelberg & Christopher J. Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  16. Engelberg, Joseph & Manski, Charles F. & Williams, Jared, 2009. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 30-41.
  17. V. Tambovtsev., 2009. "Financial Crisis and Economics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
  18. Jan Kregel, 2008. "Using Minsky's Cushions of Safety to Analyze the Crisis in the U. S. Subprime Mortgage Market," International Journal of Political Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 37(1), pages 3-23, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:1:p:143-172. 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: (Ian Winship)

or (Chris Nguyen)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Chris Nguyen to update the entry or send us the correct address

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.