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Review of Philip Anderson, 2008, The Secret Life of Real Estate

  • Mason Gaffney


    (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)

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    Anderson establishes the reality of an 18-year cycle in real estate prices, 1800 to date, emphasizing the land element, mainly urban land and subsoil resources. He relates this to privatization, which he calls "enclosure", although he does not trace the history back to the 16th Century enclosure movement in England, nor recommend undoing privatization. He supports his thesis with a wealth of data, surveying a wide literature of secondary sources. He finds the same sequence of leading and lagging indicators in each cycle. Other dips are trivial relative to those based on the real estate cycle, and he faults other economists for failing to notice this. The work is flawed in some particulars, but on the whole persuasive.

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    File Function: First version, 2009
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    Paper provided by University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200905.

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    Length: 7 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2009
    Date of revision: Jun 2009
    Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:200905
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