Monday, March 28, 2011

The Economist house-price index (updated)

The Economist Magazine updated its house-price index (here),

They also published a chart of Robert Shiller’s index of real (ie, inflation-adjusted) house prices in America (1890!-2010). [Something is rotten.... and it is not Denmark]

ps. Catherine Mulbrandon posted an interesting chart on the same topic: US Housing Prices (Real vs Nominal) 1890-2010.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love and Housing Bubbles

Nelson Rodrigues (a great Brazilian playwright, journalist and novelist) once said: "Love is eternal. If it ends, it wasn't love."

I tend to believe that housing bubbles are in some way like love. One can only be sure that there is a bubble after it burst. [Before the burst, one can always argument that rising prices are reflecting a buoyant market]

Nelson Rodrigues [photo credit: O Globo]

By the way, The Economist Magazine published a very good report on property: Bricks and slaughter. Some interesting snippets:

  • Construction of exceptionally tall buildings is a reliable indicator of economic crises in the making (According to Andrew Lawrence of Barclays Capital)

  • If housing were like any other consumer good, rising prices should eventually dampen demand. But since it is also seen as a financial asset, higher values are a signal to buy. And if housing were simply a financial investment, buyers might be clearer-eyed in their decision-making. [... but] the experience of buying a home is a largely emotional one.

  • Brazil is thought to be short of some 8m homes

  • The whole of India has fewer hotel rooms than Las Vegas

  • According to Barclays Capital, more than 40% of the skyscrapers due for completion in the next six years will be in China, increasing the number of tall buildings in Chinese cities by more than half. [I tend to be skeptical about such numbers...]

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Urban Picture

Just a short post today as I've been busy in the last few days...
Urban Picture of the Day: Dubai in the fog [beautiful photo by Wijnand Van Till]

You might also like this and this.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Assorted links

  1. Following an entire cohort (via Marginal Revolution)

  2. The eternal sociology crisis (via The Global Sociology Blog). If you're a student in the middle of this crisis I would recommend you to read Peter Berger. Now, if you are already a professional and you still face this existencial problem, just don't panic. You will have to learn how to get along with this.

  3. The Interactive Singles Map

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Glaeser at LSE

Professor Glaeser presented a lecture at LSE promoting his new book "Triumph of the City". Listen to podcast here (approx 60 min). You can watch here a short and funny interview with Glaeser at the Daily Show promoting the book.

It's all about agglomeration, agglomeration, agglomeration, but not too much.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Skilled Labor Shortage in Brazil ?

Is there a shortage of skilled labor in Brazil? Could we be hit by a Skilled labour shortage in the next decade?

Some researchers at the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA - Brazil) are trying to answer these questions when looking at engineering labor force (you might remember this post). The publication (portuguese version only) will be released tomorrow, on march 15. Meanwhile you might like to read this article: Executive pay in Brazil (The Economist).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Assorted links

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Human Vulnerability and Climate Change

Jason Samson and his team have just published a promising paper that maps human vulnerability to climate change. The local vulnerabilities were based on ecological and demographic models using census data covering close to 97 per-cent of the world’s population.

The GIS and Science blog did a great 'review' of the paper.

(Credit: McGill University)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cities, Scales and Climate Change (Event)

spread the words: The Population Studies Center (Nepo/Unicamp) together with the Brazilian Association of Population Studies (ABEP) and other scientific institutions in Brazil are promoting a very interesting international event.

"The event will be a joint effort of the Working Group Population, Space and Environment (GT-PopEA) of the Brazilian Association for Population Studies (ABEP) and of the Brazilian Network for Climate Change Research (RedeCLIMA)". It sounds like a promising event!

By the way, this event will be dedicated to memory of Daniel J. Hogan and his scientific contributions in the population, urbanization and environmental change fields. I was fortunate to have him as my advisor throughout my Masters and I'm sure it's going to be a beautiful tribute.

Event details here:

Beginning of the period of registrations and applications submission – February 21, 2011Deadline for applications – March 25, 2011Notification of acceptance to authors – April 11, 2011Deadline for registration – April 20, 2011