Thursday, December 13, 2018

14 December 2018: Is Housing an Intractable Problem?

Richard K. Green
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

Sameer Sharma, DG & CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA)

All over the world, in rich countries and poor, housing is a problem. In rich countries it is too expensive, in the absence of subsidy, for those at the bottom of the income distribution. In poor countries, vast numbers lack access to infrastructure that makes housing healthy and accessible: electricity, sewer systems, clean water, and transport. The countries that best house their people—Singapore, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland—are affluent and have small populations. This talk will look at the strengths and weaknesses of housing policy across a number of countries. It will look at the role of formal property rights, land use regulation, building permit processes, supply and demand side subsidies, and housing finance. It will also discuss value capture as a technique for at once encouraging the construction of new housing while financing the infrastructure necessary to allow dwellers of that housing to be healthy and to have access to employment. While there are policies that do improve housing outcomes, one possibly intractable problem facing successful cities is latent demand. In principle, one could build enough housing to meet demand for any growing city (such as Shanghai or Bangalore), but as a physical, rather than a policy matter, this can be difficult. This implies that very successful cities will need subsidies in order to have the heterogeneous labor force necessary for an economy to thrive. The talk will end by discussing what those subsidies might look like.

Date: December 14, 2018
Time: 04:00 P.M.

Brookings India
No. 6, Second Floor,
Dr. Jose P. Rizal Marg,
New Delhi-110021

Please RSVP and contact and for media inquiries.


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