Katsuhiro NishinariBack to index

  • The bursting of housing bubble as jamming phase transition


    Recently housing market bubble and its burst attracts much interest of researchers in various fields including economics and physics. Economists have been regarding bubble as a disorder in prices. However, this research strategy has overlooked an importance of the volume of transactions. In this paper, we have proposed a bubble burst model by focusing on transaction volume incorporating a traffic model that represents spontaneous traffic jam. We find that the phenomenon of bubble burst shares many similar properties with traffic jam formation on highway by comparing data taken from the U.S. housing market. Our result suggests that transaction volume could be a driving force of bursting phenomenon.


    Fluctuations in real estate prices have substantial impacts on economic activities. For example, land prices in Japan exhibited a sharp rise in the latter half of the 1980s, and its rapid reversal in the early 1990s. This large swing had led to a significant deterioration of the balance sheets of firms, especially those of financial firms, thereby causing a decade-long stagnation of the Japanese economy, which is called Japan’s “lost decade”. A more recent example is the U.S. housing market bubble, which started somewhere around 2000 and is now in the middle of collapsing. This has already caused substantial damages to financial systems in the U.S. and the Euro area, and it is expected that it may spread worldwide as in the case of the Great Depression in the 1920s and 30s.