Book review: Shut Out: How a Housing Shortage Caused the Great Recession and Crippled Our Economy, by Kevin Erdmann.
Why did the US have an unusually bad recession in 2008, followed by years of disappointing growth?
Many influential people attribute it to the 2004-2006 housing bubble, and the ensuing subprime mortgage crisis, with an implication that people bought too many houses. Erdmann says: no, the main problems were due to obstacles which prevented the building and buying of houses.
He mainly argues against two competing narratives that are popular among economists:
- increased availability of credit fueled a buying binge among people who had trouble affording homes.
- there was a general and unusual increase in the demand for homes.