ABOUT THIS BOOK
The central role of the housing market in the recent recession raised a series of questions about similar episodes throughout economic history. Were the underlying causes of housing and mortgage crises the same in earlier episodes? Has the onset and spread of crises changed over time? How have previous policy interventions either damaged or improved long-run market performance and stability?
This volume begins to answer these questions, providing a much-needed context for understanding recent events by examining how historical housing and mortgage markets worked—and how they sometimes failed. Renowned economic historians Eugene N. White, Kenneth Snowden, and Price Fishback survey the foundational research on housing crises, comparing that of the 1930s to that of the early 2000s in order to authoritatively identify what contributed to each crisis. Later chapters explore notable historical experiences with mortgage securitization and the role that federal policy played in the surge in home ownership between 1940 and 1960. By providing a broad historical overview of housing and mortgage markets, the volume offers valuable new insights to inform future policy debates.