Proposal preview

Long-Run Real Estate Markets: New measurements, new insights

Real estate is central both to macroeconomic fluctuations, underscored by the Great Recession starting in 2008, and to longer-term trends in wealth and inequality, as highlighted by work such as Piketty (2014) and Rognie (2015). It is also central to accurately measuring the cost of living and national income historically and to testing theories about city formation and expansion. Nonetheless, there remains a dearth of housing market data prior to the 1970s, thus depriving social scientists of a wealth of case studies from which to draw insights. Moreover, those long-run series that do exist are typically based on small samples and elementary analytical techniques, meaning they may be of limited reliability. For example, housing price trends from the only existing index for the US, by Shiller (2005), have been challenged (see, for example, Nicholas & Scherbina, 2013 and Fishback & Kollman, 2012).
Thus, new research, drawing on methodological and computing advances, could make a significant contribution to our understanding of cycles and trends in real estate and their connection to the wider economy. The proposed session will bring together scholars from around the world, working on different markets, to establish general insights and stylised facts and to develop suggestions for future research priorities. These projects include analyses of residential and commercial real estate, sales and rental segments, and European and North American markets.


  • Ronan C Lyons, Trinity College Dublin,,
  • Rowena Gray, UC Merced,,

Session members

  • Jason Barr, Rutgers-Newark,
  • Katharina Knoll, Bonn,
  • David Chambers, Cambridge,
  • Francisco Amaral, Bonn,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Moritz Schularick, Bonn,