Understanding Booms and Busts in Housing Markets

57 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2015

See all articles by A. Craig Burnside

A. Craig Burnside

Duke University - Department of Economics; University of Glasgow - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Martin Eichenbaum

Northwestern University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sergio T. Rebelo

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2012

Abstract

Some booms in housing prices are followed by busts. Others are not. In either case it is difficult to find observable fundamentals that are correlated with price movements. We develop a model consistent with these observations. Real estate agents have heterogeneous expectations about long-run fundamentals but change their views because of "social dynamics." Agents meet randomly with one another. Those with tighter priors are more likely to convert others to their beliefs. The model generates a "fad": The fraction of the population with a particular view rises and then falls. Depending on which agent is correct about fundamentals, these fads generate boom-busts or protracted booms.

Keywords: housing prices, real estate, social dynamics

JEL Classification: E32

Suggested Citation

Burnside, Craig and Eichenbaum, Martin and Tavares Rebelo, Sergio, Understanding Booms and Busts in Housing Markets (February 2012). FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper No. 12-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2583494 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2583494

Craig Burnside

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Glasgow - Department of Economics

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Martin Eichenbaum (Contact Author)

Northwestern University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Sergio Tavares Rebelo

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
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Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-467-2329 (Phone)
847-491-5719 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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