Review of Philip Anderson, 2008, The Secret Life of Real Estate
Anderson establishes the reality of an 18-year cycle in real estate prices, 1800 to date, emphasizing the land element, mainly urban land and subsoil resources. He relates this to privatization, which he calls â€œenclosureâ€, although he does not trace the history back to the 16th Century enclosure movement in England, nor recommend undoing privatization. He supports his thesis with a wealth of data, surveying a wide literature of secondary sources. He finds the same sequence of leading and lagging indicators in each cycle. Other dips are trivial relative to those based on the real estate cycle, and he faults other economists for failing to notice this. The work is flawed in some particulars, but on the whole persuasive.
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