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Economics: Urban/Housing

Where to Start

CQ Researcher Plus Archive In-depth unbiased coverage of social trends geared specifically for undergraduate research papers. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. 

Sample Reference Books

Societies and Think Tanks

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Analyzes federal budget priorities with a focus on how budget choices affect low-income Americans.

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard and MIT Universities. Provides The State of our Nation’s Housing annual analysis on key housing trends in America, as well as statistics, research , and reports on housing issues.

National Housing Conference. Nonprofit dedicated to helping ensure safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America, specializing in solutions through research to broaden understanding of America’s affordable housing challenges.

NBER Working Group on Urban Economics. Scholars working on the economics of cities. The overarching theme of the Group is the causes and consequences of metropolitan density, but it is interested in all areas of economics that touch on urban life. 

Urban Economics Association. Association whose members are economic researchers with a focus on urban topics.

Urban Land Institute. Independent global think tank representing the spectrum of real estate development and land use disciplines.

Selected Journals

These journals are specific to Health Economics, but researchers in the field also publish in many other economics journals. See this listing of some highly cited ones for more information.

Journal of Housing Economics
Journal of Urban Economics
Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics
Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
Land Economics
Real Estate Economics
Regional science and urban economics

Finding Articles and Papers

EconLit. Comprehensive index to scholarly journal articles in economics. It also lists books and dissertations, and articles within 'collective works'.  

IDEAS: Economics and Finance Research. Free database of economics lierature with thousands of full-text working papers, books and book chapters, and articles from peer-reviewed journals. 

NBER Papers on Working Group on Urban Economics. Papers from the NBER on Urban Economics which brings together scholars working on the economics of cities.

Policy File.  Covers the areas of economics, politics, the environment, and social issues, taken from reports from a wide range of think tanks, Non-governmental organizations, international governmental organizations, and other institutions worldwide.

Proquest Social Sciences.  An interdisciplinary meta-search through 22 of the the social sciences indexes on the ProQuest platform.

Key Data Sources

American Community Survey. (Via IPUMS). Ongoing survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau with questions about age, sex, race, family and relationships, income and benefits, health insurance, education, veteran status, disabilities, employment, travel to work, place of residence, prices for living essentials, and more.

American Factfinder (U.S. Census Bureau). Database for online source for accessing population, housing, economic and geographic data from the from the U.S. Census.  Includes the aggregate data from a variety of US Census Bureau Surveys.

Bank for International Settlement Property Price Statistics, useful for comparisons across countries.

Case Shiller Index provides monthly pricing/resale values back to 1987 for the United States and 20 metropolitan areas. Data is available directly from Standard & Poor's.

CEIC. Includes real estate indexes for many countries, sometimes subnationally.

Center for Microeconomic Data.From the New York Federal Reserve. Includes data on buying and selling, delinquencies, household debt, renting and owning, mortgage financing and more.

China Statistical Yearbooks has regional price indices for housing.  Additional more detailed statistics can be found in the China real estate statistical yearbook.

Current Population Survey. (Microdata, via IPUMS). Primary source of labor force statistics for the population of the United States and source of numerous economic statistics, including the national unemployment rate at the national, state and sub-state level.   

Data PlanetEasy access to over 5,550 data sets from over 65 source providers and 16 subject categories, including housing and mortgage data and aggregate data from Zillow.

EIU City Data. Prices, business costs and services across many sectors in 123 cities worldwide from 1990 to present.

Euromonitor Passport. Time series data on Labor, Transport, Prices, Income, Expenditures, Climate, Pollution, and more for selected cities worldwide.  Go to cities under "economies" from the top menu and then either "rank cities" or "search statistics."

Eurostat from the EU has European Housing Price Indices.

Global Financial Data. International real estate data: home price indexes, housing starts, prices, listings, sales, etc.  Indexes are at times at very small levels of geography (cities) as well as states, countries and regions.

Home Mortgage Disclosure ActUS Government HMDA data with detailed statistics on mortgage lending finance. For other years not covered see Data Planet ICPSR and older years on CD ROM in the library data lab.

HUD provides data sets on a variety of topics, most notably affordable housing. See the Data Set Reference Guide

Rentonomics.  Rent estimates with representative median rent statistics for recent movers taken from the American Community Survey. Data is then extrapolated forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from their listing data.

Social Explorer. Current and historical United States aggregate census data, including all historic censuses and American Community Surveys. Census data is current and historical back to 1790.

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