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Das House Kapital




The housing wealth-to-income ratio has been increasing in most developed economies since the 1950s. We provide a novel theory to explain this long-term pattern. We show analytically that house prices grow in the steady state if i) the housing sector is more land-intensive than the non-housing sector, or ii) technological progress in the construction sector is weaker than in the non-housing sector. Despite growing house prices and housing wealth, the housing wealth-to income ratio is constant in steady state. We hence study the dynamics in the housing wealth-to-income ratio by computing transitions. The model is calibrated separately to the US, UK, France, and Germany. On average, we replicate 89 percent of the observed increase in the housing wealth-to-income ratio. The key for replicating the data is the differentiation between residential land as a non-reproducible factor and residential structure as reproducible factor. The transition process from the calibrated model points to two driving forces of an increasing housing wealth-to-income ratio: i) A long-lasting construction boom that brought about a pronounced build-up in the stock of structures and ii) an increase in the demand for residential land that resulted in surging residential land prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossmann, Volker & Larin, Benjamin & Steger, Thomas M., 2021. "Das House Kapital," FSES Working Papers 523, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fri:fribow:fribow00523

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Piazzesi, M. & Schneider, M., 2016. "Housing and Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1547-1640, Elsevier.
    2. David Albouy & Gabriel Ehrlich & Minchul Shin, 2018. "Metropolitan Land Values," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 454-466, July.
    3. Morris A. Davis, 2010. "housing and the business cycle," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics,, Palgrave Macmillan.
    4. Volker Grossmann & Benjamin Larin & Hans Torben Löfflad & Thomas Steger, 2019. "Distributional effects of surging housing costs under Schwabe's Law," CESifo Working Paper Series 7684, CESifo.
    5. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Tomáš Havránek, 2015. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Importance Of Method Choices And Selective Reporting," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(6), pages 1180-1204, December.
    7. Selale Tuzel, 2010. "Corporate Real Estate Holdings and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(6), pages 2268-2302, June.
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    1. Das House Kapital
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2021-06-29 17:39:22

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    More about this item


    Housing Wealth; Economie Growth; Wealth-to-Income Ratio; House Price; Land Price;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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