Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ed Glaeser weighs in

He advocates neutrality:

The government should neither encourage nor discourage home-ownership. Significant public interventions require evidence of significant market failure, and confidence that the costs of state action will be less than the costs of those market failures. These conditions are not met in the housing sector, whether we are contemplating pro or anti home-ownership policies. 
The case for home-ownership often begins with the view that home-owners are better citizens, who create social benefits by investing more in their communities and their governments. My work with Denise DiPasquale does find that home-owners are more likely to work to solve local problems, to vote and to know the names of local leaders. These effects reflect both home-owners' stake in their community and their tendency to live in one place longer. 


Rafael H M Pereira said...

Richard, you put this trade-off between market failure costs and public intervention costs in a very straightforward way. Good. I'm trying to figure out, though, what evidence/data could attest a market failure in the housing sector? A significant percentage of households located in slums, lacking tenure security, etc. ?

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