Global Finance, Labor Politics, and the Political Economy of Housing Prices.

Politics and Society 

International political economy identifies declining nominal interest rates, securitization, and financial liberalization as drivers of rising housing prices. Despite witnessing these common credit shocks, however, developed economies experienced divergent trends in housing inflation since the 1980s. We offer a comparative political economy explanation of variation in house prices, arguing that by restraining household incomes, wage-setting institutions can blunt financial liberalization’s inflationary impact on housing markets. Employing quantitative analysis and a comparative study of Ireland and the Netherlands, we uncover two findings. First, countries where political coalitions in the export sector held veto powers over those in the nontraded sector in national wage setting realized lower housing inflation. Second, the impact of sectoral coalitions on housing prices in OECD countries is similar to that of financial variables. Our results suggest that the organization of labor politics continues to play an important role in mitigating the destabilizing effects of global finance on developed economies

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