Real Estate Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

7-2013

Publication Source

Explorations in Economic History

Volume

50

Issue

3

Start Page

368

Last Page

386

DOI

10.1016/j.eeh.2012.10.003

Abstract

This paper provides the first estimates of housing price movements for Beijing in late pre-modern China. We hand-collect from archival sources transaction prices and other house attribute information from the 498 surviving house sale contracts for Beijing during the first two centuries of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1840), a long period without major wars, political turmoil, or significant institutional change in the Chinese capital. We use hedonic methods to construct a real estate price index for Beijing for the period. The regression analysis explains a major proportion of the variance of housing prices. We find that house prices grew steadily for the first half-century of the Qing Dynasty and declined afterwards in both nominal and real terms through the late eighteenth century. Nominal prices grew starting in the late eighteenth century and declined from the early nineteenth century through 1840. But these price changes occurred with contemporaneous price changes in basic measures of the cost of living: there was little change in real terms to the end of our period.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2013. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

Keywords

Beijing, Qing Dynasty, house prices, hedonic regressions

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.