Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective
The central role of the housing market in the recent recession raised questions about its contribution to previous economic downturns. Were the underlying causes of housing and mortgage crises the same in earlier episodes? Has the onset and spread of crises changed over time? Did previous policy interventions damage or improve long-run market performance and stability?
This volume begins to answer these questions, providing important context for understanding recent events by examining how historical housing and mortgage markets worked—and how they sometimes failed. The contributors to this volume survey the foundational research on housing crises, comparing the 1930s downturn to the most recent one in order to identify the contributions to each crisis. Some 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 that can inform future policy debates.