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Understanding Booms and Busts in Housing Markets

Author

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  • Craig Burnside
  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Sergio Rebelo

Abstract

Some booms in housing prices are followed by busts. Others are not. It is generally difficult to find observable fundamentals that are useful for predicting whether a boom will turn into a bust or not. We develop a model consistent with these observations. Agents have heterogeneous expectations about long-run fundamentals but change their views because of “social dynamics.” Agents with tighter priors are more likely to convert others to their beliefs. Boom-bust episodes typically occur when skeptical agents happen to be correct. The booms that are not followed by busts typically occur when optimistic agents happen to be correct.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2016. "Understanding Booms and Busts in Housing Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1088-1147.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/686732
    DOI: 10.1086/686732
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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