What to read about financial bubbles and crashes?

So asks @TimHarford today, linking to a reading list proposed by Noah Smith

“Panics and Bubbles” reading list

itself a comment on another proposed reading list by Tony Yates,

If I was devising a panics and bubbles course…

which, while commended, is criticised for being too focused on ‘macro and money-based models, usually with rational expectations’. Continue reading What to read about financial bubbles and crashes?

Housing expenditure – overlooked and undertaxed

This is a follow up to an earlier post, Since housing is economically a luxury good, why not tax it more?, where the argument was based on a longitudinal study.  For this I am endebted to @RichGreenhill for pointing me to an ONS spreadsheet showing expenditure by income decile, which can be downloaded here. Continue reading Housing expenditure – overlooked and undertaxed

If it wasn’t for the Nimbies inbetween

More evidence that capitalism wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the Nimbies inbetween.

This graph from Matthew Rognlie’s paper disaggregating Piketty’s overall story of increasing returns to capital is well known (although not as well known as it should be …)

Deciphering the fall and rise in the net capital share

But today I saw this analysis of the impact of ‘closed access cities and states’ in the US

Housing, A Series: Part 77 – Housing is defining politics and the repercussions are dreadful

Kevin Erdman writes

It is frequently noted that American politics have become more angry and more bifurcated.  The housing supply problem has its fingers in many of our problems, and I believe it includes this.  Bear with me here.  This might become a long post, but I think the implications may be surprising.

so I’ll leave it there, but please do follow the link.

As for the title – it’s an obscure reference to the old Music Hall song which somehow seems relevant, but I’m not exactly sure how …

Grown up anthropology

I’m rescuing this post from the now restricted access part of my local Forum for the sake of recording my appreciation of anthropology as a subject, having also, more recently, been reading Karen Ho’s ‘Liquidated’, reviewed here by Gillian Tett.  I hope to blog about that sometime.

In the meantime, if any economist friends think I’m going over to the dark side, in taking anthropology seriously, please do not worry; I think anthropologists need to take economics seriously as much as the other way round. Continue reading Grown up anthropology

Downsizing in situ (©)

Earlier this week I was delighted to hear this phrase used for exactly what I meant when I came up with it in a post on my local Forum, June 30 2013.  It was in a response on a thread which had become predictable bad tempered, (and now in a part of the Forum which requires registration) since it had started with my expression of sympathy for Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock with his plans to redevelop a large prefab estate.

Here’s my subsequent post

Tim, if you feel so strongly that people should give up their homes, why don’t you start the ball rolling yourself? Maybe if you gave your home away, or sold it and moved to a small flat, a couple of young families could move in. What you’re advocating is social engineering and it should be voluntary. Please don’t confuse it with socialism. It’s the socialism of Stalin and his ilk.

What I might one day want to do is to ‘downsize in situ’ (©). It’s what a near neighbour did when his elderly mother died a few years ago. Having previously divided the former family house into two flats, and had her live downstairs, now he has tenants on the ground floor. I think this is a very sensible way to proceed, and means that family and neighbourhood links are maintained. However, such conversions are inevitably opposed by the usual suspects.

Possible solutions
• Housing suitable for family occupation should be retained not subdivided into units not suitable for families.

I think the social engineers round here are those who insist on houses being retained for families, as they imagine them, while the use of ‘voluntary’ by those who want to control what people do with their own homes suggests that the word means them having their way, not anyone else.

© Original coinage, as far as I’m aware. Happy for anyone else to use it …