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Expectations During the U.S. Housing Boom: Inferring Beliefs from Actions

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  • Itzhak Ben-David
  • Pascal Towbin
  • Sebastian Weber

Abstract

We infer the role of price expectations in forming the U.S. housing boom in the early- 2000s from examining housing inventories. We use a reduced form model to show that agents invest in vacant homes when they anticipate prices will increase. Empirically, vacancy can discriminate between price movements related to shocks to demand for housing services (low vacancy) and shocks to expectations (high vacancy). Using a structural vector autoregression with sign restrictions, we show that expectation shocks were a prime factor explaining the boom particularly in the Sand States, which experienced unprecedented booms.

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  • Itzhak Ben-David & Pascal Towbin & Sebastian Weber, 2019. "Expectations During the U.S. Housing Boom: Inferring Beliefs from Actions," NBER Working Papers 25702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25702
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    Cited by:

    1. Calvin He & Gianni La Cava, 2020. "The Distributional Effects of Monetary Policy: Evidence from Local Housing Markets," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2020-02, Reserve Bank of Australia.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E71 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on the Macro Economy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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