Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

October 19, 2016

Wednesday’s Academic Roundup

By Robert Engelke

  • An article titled, The First Amendment and Fair Housing in the Sharing Economy, explains how the sharing economy—a marketplace made up of businesses that profit by connecting providers of goods and services with users of those goods and services—challenges us to reevaluate our anti-discrimination laws. This Essay considers one such challenge: how should public accommodation laws such as Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act apply to the housing sector of the sharing economy?
  • This paper, titled Pockets of Poverty: The Long-Term Effects of Redlining, studies the long-term effects of redlining policies that restricted access to credit in urban communities.
  • An article titled, Home Equity Extraction and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Consumption and Residential Investment, explains how conventional wisdom holds that the consumption boom-bust cycle of the 2000s was caused by homeowners financing their consumption through home equity extraction. However, this view is inconsistent with micro evidence that home equity extraction is associated with large housing investment expenditures rather than consumer spending. This association is strongest among young households. I rationalize these findings using a life-cycle model with home equity-based borrowing subject to borrowing frictions.
  • This article, Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide, Asset Diversification in a Flat World, presents new international diversification indexes across equity, sovereign debt, and real estate. The indexes reveal a marked and near ubiquitous decline in diversification potential across asset classes and markets for the post-2000 period. Analysis of panel data suggests that the decline is related to higher levels of market credit risk and volatility as well asto technology and communications innovation as proxied by internet diffusion. The decline in diversification opportunity is associated with sharply higher levels of investment risk.
  • A paper titled, Maintaining Condominiums and Homeowner’s Associations: Ending the Free Ride, discusses how the last five years have brought a spate of litigation over the relative rights of associations and mortgagees. The litigation appears to have settled one contentious but critical issue: the super priority lien confers on associations the right to foreclose. Other issues, however, remain unsettled, and often depend on state-specific statutory provisions.
  • This paper titled, Local Media and the Local Housing Market, provides evidence for media affecting households’ home-buying decisions, which in turn leads to an impact on short-term housing return. Individuals and households have been known to be affected by the media. Together with specific assumptions about the housing market, this implies a positive correlation between lagged media content and subsequent housing return.
  • In this paper, titled Producing Affordable Housing in Rising Markets: What Works?, we describe the problem of affordability in rising markets and review existing evidence on how well local policy approaches work. The most widely used policies, local inclusionary zoning and statewide “fair share” laws, have produced relatively small numbers of affordable units, and are therefore unlikely to substantially mitigate the effects of rising housing costs. More effective policies to develop and preserve affordable housing, particularly in high opportunity neighborhoods, will require increased public and private funding and political support.
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