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No‐Bubble Condition: Model‐Free Tests in Housing Markets

Listed author(s):
  • Stefano Giglio
  • Matteo Maggiori
  • Johannes Stroebel

We test for the existence of housing bubbles associated with a failure of the transversality condition that requires the present value of payments occurring infinitely far in the future to be zero. The most prominent such bubble is the classic rational bubble. We study housing markets in the United Kingdom and Singapore, where residential property ownership takes the form of either leaseholds or freeholds. Leaseholds are finite‐maturity, pre‐paid, and tradeable ownership contracts with maturities often exceeding 700 years. Freeholds are infinite‐maturity ownership contracts. The price difference between leaseholds with extremely‐long maturities and freeholds reflects the present value of a claim to the freehold after leasehold expiry, and is thus a direct empirical measure of the transversality condition. We estimate this price difference, and find no evidence of failures of the transversality condition in housing markets in the U.K. and Singapore, even during periods when a sizable bubble was regularly thought to be present.

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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 84 (2016)
Issue (Month): (05)
Pages: 1047-1091

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Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:84:y:2016:i::p:1047-1091
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  1. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
  2. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2006. "Bubbles and capital flow volatility: Causes and risk management," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 35-53, January.
  3. Andrew B. Abel & N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1989. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
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  5. Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2016. "Managing Credit Bubbles," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 753-789, 06.
  6. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
  7. Hong, Harrison & Scheinkman, José & Xiong, Wei, 2008. "Advisors and asset prices: A model of the origins of bubbles," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 268-287, August.
  8. Jianjun Miao & PENGFEI WANG, 2011. "Bubbles and Credit Constraints," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-031, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  9. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272.
  10. Kenneth D. West, 1987. "A Specification Test for Speculative Bubbles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 553-580.
  11. Jordi Gal?, 2014. "Monetary Policy and Rational Asset Price Bubbles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 721-752, March.
  12. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1189-1214, December.
  13. Giglio, Stefano & Severo, Tiago, 2012. "Intangible capital, relative asset shortages and bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 303-317.
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