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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper

The Economics Implications of House Price Capitalization: A Synthesis


In this article I argue that the extent to which fiscal variables are capitalized into house prices has important economic implications. I synthesize an emerging literature that explores the conditions under which public and private investments and intergovernmental transfers are capitalized into local house prices and the broader implications of such capitalization. The main insights are: (i) House price capitalization is more pronounced in locations with strict regulatory and geographical supply constraints; (ii) capitalization can – under certain conditions – induce the provision of durable local public goods and club goods; and (iii) capitalization effects – which are habitually ignored by policy makers – have important adverse consequences for a wide range of policies such as intergovernmental aid or the mortgage interest deduction.


Christian A. L. Hilber

11 October 2011     Paper Number SERCDP0091

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