Ford Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Faculty Associate & Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
November 3, 2023
1:30pm - 3:00pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
Institutional investors in residential real estate have become targets of the backlash against unaffordable housing, with citizens embracing radical policies such as housing expropriation. A study conducted by Rafaela Dancygier and Andreas Wiedemann shows that this backlash is not only about economic self-interest rooted in rising rents; it reflects a fundamental rejection of "financialized capitalism" that turns housing from a basic need into a speculative asset. Her study presents novel geo-coded real estate transaction data showing the extent of housing financialization cross-nationally and over time and documenting that neighborhood-level financialization predicts support to expropriate corporate landlords in a historic 2021 Berlin referendum. The study developed a nationally-representative survey to show that German citizens conceptualize housing as a social right and hold the state responsible for its under-provision. Finally, it demonstrates experimentally that arguments about housing financialization significantly raise support for expropriation beyond rent effects. While housing politics are frequently divisive, these findings suggest that financialized capitalism can unite diverse sections of the electorate in favor of housing socialism.
** Please note: Events in this series do not include a presentation. Attendees of this seminar are expected to read a paper in advance and enter into a discussion. This is an in-person event. To receive a copy of the paper, please contact Morgan Gillespie at email@example.com. **