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Housing booms, reallocation and productivity


  • Sebastian Doerr


I establish that US public firms holding real estate have persistently lower levels of productivity than non-holders. Rising real estate values relax collateral constraints for companies that own real estate and allow them to expand production. Consequently, an increase in house prices reallocates capital and labor towards inefficient firms, with negative consequences for aggregate industry productivity. Industries with a stronger relative increase in real estate values see a significant decline in total factor productivity, and the within-industry covariance between firm size and productivity declines. My results suggest a novel channel through which real estate booms affect productivity and have implications for monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Doerr, 2020. "Housing booms, reallocation and productivity," BIS Working Papers 904, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:904

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Martín & Enrique Moral-Benito & Tom Schmitz, 2018. "The Financial Transmission of Housing Bubbles: Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 625, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Bednarek, Peter & Ma, Chang & Rebucci, Alessandro & Te Kaat, Daniel Marcel, 2019. "Capital Flows, Real Estate, and Local Cycles: Evidence from German Cities, Banks, and Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 14187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sebastian Doerr, 2019. "Unintended side effects: stress tests, entrepreneurship, and innovation," BIS Working Papers 823, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Antonin Bergeaud & Gilbert Cette & Rémy Lecat & Hélène Maghin, 2019. "Coase Lecture ‐ The Inverted‐U Relationship Between Credit Access and Productivity Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 86(341), pages 1-31, January.
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    More about this item


    housing boom; collateral; misallocation; productivity; low interest rates;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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