Microeconomic Models of Housing Markets by Konrad Stahl
The present volume is an outgrowth of several years' interactions be tween U. S. American and W. -German economists interested in analyzing the structure and functioning of housing markets, and the impacts of govern mental policies on these markets. Such an interaction turns out to be fruitful in several respects. Unquestionably, German economists can learn a lot from the high level of sophistication exhibited in much of the American literature. However, this is not a one way road of learning and the adoption of concepts, for the following reason. Most of the analysis presented in that literature hinges on the use of the standard microeco nomics textbook tools. Now, even a casual observation of housing markets in European countries reveals that behavior and conduct in these markets do not follow the assumptions presumed in this mode of analysis, which calls into question the uncritical employment of that tool kit. This has important consequences for policy analysis and indeed, for some principal attitudes towards housing policy, and points sharply to the need for developing analytical concepts that take up more of the pecul iarities of housing market behavior and conduct. While such a develop ment may be particularly warranted in view of European housing markets, we maintain this to be the case in view of the American housing market as well.