Housing and Personal Wealth in a Global Context

John Muellbauer

in Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548880
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720765 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Housing and Personal Wealth in a Global Context

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Housing is the single most important component of personal wealth in most countries. The special characteristics of housing markets are, therefore, key to understanding personal portfolios, saving, the household distribution of wealth, and the monetary transmission mechanism. This study discusses how housing markets and institutions differ across countries, paying particular attention to the UK and the EU, but extending its reach as well to other OECD countries such as Japan and emerging market countries such as South Africa. It analyses how those differences help to create contrasts in the impact on consumption of housing as a component of personal wealth. The impacts of rates of home ownership, credit market characteristics, interest rates, and macroeconomic conditions are studied. Implications for monetary, fiscal, and other policies are discussed.

Keywords: housing; wealth; consumption; interest rates; monetary transmission

Chapter.  8808 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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