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The Great Moderation, the Great Excess and the global housing crisis


  • Manuel B. Aalbers


This paper explores the relationships between local or national housing markets and recent historic transformations in global capitalism. It proposes a periodisation of developments in housing markets, policies and practices distinguishing between, first, the pre-modern period; second, the modern or Fordist period; third, the flexible neoliberal or post-Fordist period; and fourth, the late neoliberal or emerging post-crisis period. This periodisation is a heuristic device that helps to make sense of the interdependence of national housing markets and the global financial crisis. The argument is not that the crisis caused the breakdown of the post-Fordist housing model, but rather that the shift to this model introduced certain dynamics to housing markets that a few decades later culminated into a crisis. The start of the Great Moderation was also the start of the financialisation of states and economies in various domains, particularly housing. In making this argument, I unpack the concept of the Great Moderation: what appeared to be a structural moderation of macroeconomic cycles was in fact the build-up of a bubble economy. The 1970s and early 1980s as well as the post-2007 crisis are critical junctures in the development of housing. The Great Moderation was also a Great Excess in terms of rising inequality and excessive credit and debt, suggestive of a finance-led regime of accumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel B. Aalbers, 2015. "The Great Moderation, the Great Excess and the global housing crisis," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 43-60, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:15:y:2015:i:1:p:43-60
    DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2014.997431

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle Norris & Michael Byrne, 2017. "Housing Market Volatility,Stability and Social Rented Housing: comparing Austria and Ireland during the global financial crisis," Working Papers 201705, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Cian O’Callaghan & Pauline McGuirk, 2021. "Situating financialisation in the geographies of neoliberal housing restructuring: reflections from Ireland and Australia," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 53(4), pages 809-827, June.
    3. Josh Ryan‐Collins, 2021. "Private Landed Property and Finance: A Checkered History," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(2), pages 465-502, March.
    4. Sokol, Martin, 2017. "Financialisation, financial chains and uneven geographical development: Towards a research agenda," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 678-685.
    5. Jenny McArthur, 2018. "Comparative infrastructural modalities: Examining spatial strategies for Melbourne, Auckland and Vancouver," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 36(5), pages 816-836, August.
    6. Konowalczuk Jan, 2017. "The Problem of Reflecting the Market in the Legal Principles of Real Estate Valuation in Poland. How to Eliminate the “Legal Footprint”?," Real Estate Management and Valuation, Sciendo, vol. 25(2), pages 44-57, June.
    7. Frances Brill, 2020. "Complexity and coordination in London’s Silvertown Quays: How real estate developers (re)centred themselves in the planning process," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 52(2), pages 362-382, March.
    8. Manuel B. Aalbers, 2017. "The Variegated Financialization of Housing," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 542-554, July.
    9. Costas Lapavitsas & Ivan Mendieta-Muñoz, 2017. "Financialisation at a Watershed in the USA JEL Classification: B50, E10, E44, G20," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2017_10, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    10. Lima, Valesca, 2018. "Delivering Social Housing: An Overview of the Housing Crisis in Dublin," MPRA Paper 88380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Karly S. Ford & Kelly Ochs Rosinger & Qiong Zhu, 2021. "Consolidation of Class Advantages in the Wake of the Great Recession: University Enrollments, Educational Opportunity and Stratification," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 62(7), pages 915-941, November.
    12. Andrius Kučas & Boyan Kavalov & Carlo Lavalle, 2020. "Living Cost Gap in the European Union Member States," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(21), pages 1-26, October.
    13. Xiao Ma & Zhe Zhang & Yan Han & Xiao-Guang Yue, 2019. "Sustainable Policy Dynamics—A Study on the Recent “Bust” of Foreign Residential Real Estate Investment in Sydney," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(20), pages 1-20, October.
    14. Matthew C. Record, 2021. "Offsetting Risk in a Neoliberal Environment: The Link between Asset-Based Welfare and NIMBYism," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(11), pages 1-21, November.
    15. Lima, Valesca, 2018. "Delivering Social Housing: An Overview of the Housing Crisis in Dublin," SocArXiv ev35x, Center for Open Science.
    16. Hollanders, David, 2016. "Pension systems do not suffer from ageing or lack of home-ownership but from financialisation," Other publications TiSEM 101cb77f-ea9c-47bc-930d-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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