Bartlett's Notations
Focus on Housing
Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 5:30am
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On March 30, Pew published a study which found that government subsidies for housing exceed those for energy, transportation and the nonprofit sector combined.

On March 29, the Center for American Progress published a study criticizing the idea of privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A March 7 working paper http://papers.nber.org/papers/w16848 from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that changes in consumption (positive and negative) from changes in housing wealth are very large and much greater than from changes in financial wealth.

On March 1, the Progressive Policy Institute published a study suggesting the use of vouchers to encourage home ownership.

On February 24, AARP released a study of reverse mortgages, which allow the elderly to take money out of their homes while continuing to live in them.

Also on February 24, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a study on the impact of housing on the economic recovery. It notes that homebuilding normally leads recoveries but is not doing so this time.

On February 23, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland published a study on homeowner subsidies.

On February 11, the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a report on reforming the government’s role in housing finance.

In a February 10 commentary, economists Atif Mian, Amir Sufi, and Francesco Trebbi find that foreclosures have had a significant negative effect on home prices and construction.

A February 9 Rasmussen poll found that 35 percent of homeowners believe their house is worth less than the mortgage on it.

On January 25, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a working paper on international housing policies

In a January 24 commentary, economics Nobel Prize winner Vernon Smith says that instead of fiscal stimulus the federal government should have subsidized all homeowners with negative equity to bring them back to zero.

I last posted items on this topic on January 27.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.