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Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis (Independent Studies in Political Economy) [Paperback]

Benjamin W. Powell , Randall G. Holcombe

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Book Description

August 24, 2009 1412810469 978-1412810463

Housing policy not only aff ects all Americans' quality of life, but has a direct impact on their fi nancial well being. About 70 percent of American households own their own homes, and for most, their homes represent the majority of their net worth. Renters are aff ected by housing policy. Even the small minority of Americans who are homeless are aff ected by housing policies specifi cally targeted to low-income individuals.

The government's increasing involvement in housing markets, fed by popular demand that government "do something" to address real problems of mortgage defaults and loans, provides good reason to take a new look at the public sector in housing markets. Crises in prime mortgage lending may lower the cost of housing, but the poor and homeless cannot benefi t because of increases in unemployment. Even the private market is heavily regulated. Government policies dictate whether people can build new housing on their land, what type of housing they can build, the terms allowed in rental contracts, and much more.

This volume considers the eff ects of government housing policies and what can be done to make them work better. It shows that many problems are the result of government rules and regulations. Even in a time of foreclosures, the market can still do a crucial a job of allocating resources, just as it does in other markets. Consequently, the appropriate policy response may well be to signifi cantly reduce, not increase, government presence in housing markets. Housing America is a courageous and comprehensive eff ort to examine housing policies in the United States and to show how such policies aff ect the housing market.

Randall G. Holcombe is research fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. He is author of twelve books and more than 100 articles published in academic and professional journals. His books include Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America, Public Policy and the Quality of Life, From Liberty to Democracy: Th e Transformation of American Government, and Entrepreneurship and Economic Progress.

Benjamin W. Powell is research fellow at the Independent Institute and assistant professor of economics at Suff olk University. He is author of more than two dozen scholarly articles and editor of the book, Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Development.


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Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis (Independent Studies in Political Economy) + The Federal Government and Urban Housing, Third Edition (SUNY Series in Urban Public Policy)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book reflects the appropriate view that the need is for less, not more, government intervention in housing markets."

—Edwin S. Mills, The Independent Institute

"Housing America is a comprehensive book that analyzes the contemporary U.S. housing market. The emphasis is on national, state and local government policies toward housing, land use and related issues and surveys the various views about the current housing crisis and its relationship to the broader financial meltdown. The authors include distinguished economists and other policy experts who correctly point to government policies as the causes of existing housing problems. The book reflects the appropriate view that the need is for less, not more, government intervention in housing markets. Housing America will be of great value on housing issues for all readers, including scholars and instructors." --Edwin S. Mills, Northwestern University

"Clearly written and superbly enlightening, this comprehensive books assembles and wonderfully synthesizes an amazing amount of up-to-date research."

—Peter Gordon, The Independent Institute

"Housing America is a welcome collection of essays by skeptics of government interventions in housing markets, a counterweight to the writings of those who urge ever greater state involvement."

—Robert C. Ellickson, The Independent Institute

"This volume should be on any urbanist's bookshelf and includes many academic and policy heavy weights ... All the chapters are highly relevant to current times and many directly address the mortgage meltdown and what we need to do get out of the housing depression."

—Samuel Staley, Out of Control Policy Blog, Reason.org

"In Housing America, Holcombe and Powell have assembled the work of some of the most insightful and interesting minds in the field. Several chapters, especially that by Lawrence J. White, illuminate the causes of the current housing crisis, and the others offer provocative and highly useful analyses that will remain timely long after the present crisis has passed."

—William A. Fischel, Dartmouth College

"Holcombe and Powell have assembled a terrific line-up of scholars to address an issue of fundamental importance. Housing America provides a wide-ranging and well-researched look at almost every aspect of the housing market, and this much-needed volume is irreplaceable in thinking about how to reform government policy in the United States." --Steven G. Horwitz, St. Lawrence University

About the Author

Randall G. Holcombe is research fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. He is author of twelve books and more than 100 articles published in academic and professional journals. His books include Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America, Public Policy and the Quality of Life, From Liberty to Democracy: The Transformation of American Government, and Entrepreneurship and Economic Progress. Benjamin W. Powell is research fellow at the Independent Institute and assistant professor of economics at Suffolk University. He is author of more than two dozen scholarly articles and editor of the book, Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Development.

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