Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781786991188 Published July 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786991195 Published July 2017 For sale in North and South America only

Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing

Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd, and Laurie Macfarlane

Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing

Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd, and Laurie Macfarlane

Distributed for Zed Books

With the New Economics Foundation
288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781786991188 Published July 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786991195 Published July 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Why are house prices in many advanced economies rising faster than incomes? What is the relationship between the financial system and the price of land? In this accessible but provocative guide to the economics of land and housing, the authors reveal how many of the key challenges facing modern economies, including housing crises, financial instability, and growing inequalities, are intimately tied to the land economy.
 
Looking at the ways in which discussions of land have been routinely excluded from both housing policy and economic theory, Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing argues that in order to tackle these increasingly pressing issues a major re-thinking by both politicians and economists is required. This is the first comprehensive guide to the role of land in the economy, making this an essential reference for students, scholars, policymakers, activists, and NGOs working on land issues.
 
Contents
Figures, tables and boxes
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Glossary
Foreword by John Muelbauer
 
1 Introduction
1.1 What is Land?
1.2 What is the value of land?
1.3 Landownership and economic rent
1.4 Summary of chapters
 
2 Landownership and property
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Landownership: origins of the theory and forms
2.3 Landownership as freedom: secure title and economic growth
2.4 Landownership as theft: power and economic rent
2.5 Hypothesis: property is liberty, property is theft
2.6 Responses to the ownership paradox
2.7 Conclusion
 
3 The missing factor: land in production and distribution
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Classical political economy: land and economic rent
3.3 Land tax or separation as a solution to the problem of economic rent
2.4 Neoclassical economics and conflation of land with capital
3.5 Problems with the neoclassical account: fundamental differences between land and capital
3.6 Political reasons for the disappearance of land from economic theory
3.7 Land and socialism
3.8 Consequences of the conflation of land and capital today
3.9 Conclusion
 
4 Land for housing: land economics in the modern era
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The Industrial Revolution and the growth of cities
4.3 1900-1970: world wars and the golden age of capitalism
4.4 1970 onwards: the emergence of ‘residential capitalism’
4.5 The new political economy of housing
4.6 Conclusion
 
5 The financialisation of land and housing
5.1 Introduction
5.2 House and land prices, income and bank credit
5.3 Mortage finance, the ‘lifecycle’ model and the role of collateral
5.4 The history of mortgage and real estate finance in the UK
5.5 Macroeconomic effects of the liberalization of mortgage credit
5.6 The property-credit nexus and financial fragility
5.7 Conclusion
 
6 Land, wealth and inequality
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Trends in economic inequality
6.3 Traditional explanations for increasing inequality
6.4 The role of land and economic rent in increasing inequality
6.5 Why inequality matters
6.6 Conclusion
 
7 Putting land back into economics and policy
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Ownership
7.3 Tax reform
7.4 Financial reform
7.5 Reforms to tenure
7.6 Planning reform
7.7 Changes to economics and national accounting
7.8 Conclusion
 
Bibliography
Index
 
Review Quotes
Must-Reads of 2017 | Bloomberg
“A calm, clear, seemingly fair review of the role of land in economic theory and economic reality, and how skyrocketing land values have in recent decades come to shape and perhaps misshape the global economy. At the end, when the authors get to recommendations, you may be taken aback by some of the things they have in mind. But that's all the more reason to read the book. . . . [I]t is the book that did the most to alter my perception of the world.”
LSE Review of Books
“This is an admirable book. It provides a powerful critique of the UK’s failed policies towards land and housing and it sets out an ambitious but credible set of alternatives which merit serious debate. But it also offers a critique of the inadequate treatment of land and housing by mainstream economics that can travel far beyond the UK.”
Best Books of 2017 | Financial Times
“A lucid exposition of the dysfunctional British housing market.”
Best Books of 2017 | Times Higher Education
“The most important book I read this year.”
Green House Think Tank
“A very welcome analysis.”
Duncan Bowie, author of Radical Solutions to the Housing Supply Crisis
“Long overdue. It returns land to its central role in both economic theory and in built environment discourses.”
Adair Turner, Chairman of the Institute of New Economic Thinking
“Analyzes the subject with excellent clarity. Read it and you will understand the crucial underlying drivers of rising debt, increasing inequality, and financial crises.”
Michael Kumhof, Senior Research Advisor, Bank of England
“This excellent book is both thorough and comprehensive. I am convinced that it will quickly become an important reference for the general public and for economists, and hopefully also for policymakers.”
Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics
“A comprehensive survey of the role of land in the economy and its neglect in economics, as well as a profile of how ownership of this essential requirement for life has become unattainable for the majority of young Britons.”
Danny Dorling, author of All That Is Solid: How the Great Housing Disaster Defines Our Times
“Lucid and convincing . . . Economics is evolving and this crucial book is a key part of its transformation.”
Kate Barker, author of the Barker Review of UK Housing Supply
“Takes a fresh and comprehensive look at the problems created by a failure to consider the role of land in the economy of the United Kingdom. It proposes a wide range of solutions which policymakers should consider.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here