The Uneven Impact on Households
Edited by Ray Forrest and Ngai-Ming Yip
This book originated in a two-day symposium held at the City University of Hong Kong in December 2009. Thirteen invited speakers presented specially prepared papers that were then discussed and debated among the small number of participants in a roundtable format. This arrangement, unlike the more conventional open-forum conference, allowed substantial time for an exchange of views and for an intensive but relaxed exploration of the different housing-market impacts of the financial crisis. The primary objective of the symposium was to examine the ways in which the 2007 financial crisis had affected households. The housing market was at the centre stage of the crisis in terms of causes and consequences. Most of the research and commentary had, however, focused on the institutional casualties and the dramatic interventions by various governments to maintain a degree of stability in the current financial regime. There had been limited systematic exploration of the housing-market consequences for households, although it was evident that the impacts had been highly uneven both across and within different societies. The legacy of the recent past in terms of market entry points, employment and income status, borrowing capacity and debt exposure had produced a highly differentiated pattern of household vulnerabilities mediated by variations in institutional structures and policy histories. This differentiation could be observed at the international scale and within countries. In terms of housing-market consequences, therefore, a global financial crisis had not produced common outcomes. The symposium aimed to examine the particular factors at work in particular countries that...