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Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing


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Table of Contents

  • Foreword by John Muellbauer
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Land Ownership and Property
  • 3. The Missing Factor: Land in Production and Distribution
  • 4. Land for Housing: Land Economics in the Modern Era
  • 5. The Financialisation of Land and Housing
  • 6. Land, Wealth and Inequality
  • 7. Putting Land Back into Economics and Policy

About the Author

Dr Josh Ryan-Collins is senior economist at the New Economics Foundation, where he has been based since 2006. He leads a research programme at NEF focusing on monetary and financial reform and the economics of land and housing and has published widely across these areas. Josh is the lead author of Where Does Money Come From?, a comprehensive guide to the workings of the modern monetary system, which is used as a textbook to teach banking and finance courses at universities in the UK and United States. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Southampton and is visiting research fellow at Southampton Business School and City University's Political Economy Research Centre in London.Toby Lloyd is head of housing development at Shelter, the UK's largest housing charity, where he was previously head of policy. He has worked on housing issues across the public, private and voluntary sectors for over twelve years, advising ministers, mayors, businesses and communities. His proposal for a new Garden City won the runner-up award in the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014.Laurie Macfarlane is an economist at the New Economics Foundation, working on land and financial reform issues. He was previously head of economic analysis at the Water Industry Commission for Scotland and also spent one year working in the markets and economics division at Ofwat. Laurie has written on land and housing reform for the progressive Scottish think tank Common Weal. He has a first class degree in economics from the University of Strathclyde.The New Economics Foundation is the only people-powered think tank. It works to build a new economy where people really take control.


'A lucid exposition of the dysfunctional British housing market.'
Financial Times - Best Books of 2017'The book that did the most to alter my perception of the world.'
Bloomberg - Must-reads of 2017'The most important book I read this year.'
Times Higher Education - Best Books of 2017'Extremely useful'
Institute of Place Management - Best Books of 2017'This excellent book on the economic role of land is both thorough and comprehensive. I am convinced that it will quickly become an important reference for the general public and for economists, and hopefully also for policymakers.'
Michael Kumhof, senior research advisor, Bank of England'Housing and land play a central role in modern economies , but most mainstream economic theory simply ignores land's special character - with grave consequences for its ability to explain the real world. By contrast, this important book analyses the subject with excellent clarity. Read it and you will understand the crucial underlying drivers of rising debt, increasing inequality and financial crises.'
Adair Turner, chairman of the Institute of New Economic Thinking'A lucid and convincing explanation of why a free-market approach to the land problem makes little sense; why the state needs to intervene; and of the wide range of policy options available. Economics is evolving and this crucial book is a key part of its transformation.'
Danny Dorling, author of All That Is Solid: How the Great Housing Disaster Defines Our Times, and What We Can Do About It'This book takes a fresh and comprehensive look at the problems created by a failure to consider the role of land in the economy of the UK. It proposes a wide range of solutions which policymakers should consider.'
Kate Barker, author of the Barker Review of UK Housing Supply'A comprehensive survey of the role of land in the economy and its neglect in economics, as well as a profile of how ownership of this essential requirement for life has become unattainable for the majority of young Britons, thanks to the march of finance and the compliance of Parliament.'
Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics'Land policy is the missing issue in any discussion on planning, development and the property market. This book is therefore long overdue. It returns land to its central role in both economic theory and in built environment discourses.'
Duncan Bowie, author of Radical Solutions to the Housing Supply Crisis'This is an admirable book. It provides a powerful critique of the UK's failed policies towards land and housing and it sets out an ambitious but credible set of alternatives which merit serious debate.'
LSE Review of Books'A very welcome analysis.'
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