Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 11:55 AM
If you just look at European countries, the most-dysfunctional countries seem to have the highest homeownership rates. If you look at Viral Acharya's broader set of numbers it just starts to look random. Singapore's not a basket case. It's a very rich country with a very well-managed economy, and a government that's really gone all-in on promoting homeownership. It's very hard to think of any other indicator where Norway comes between Belgium and Portugal.
What's clear here is that even though the U.S. has a lot of policies in place designed to push people toward homeownership, many other countries have gone much further down that road. Considering how weak and thin the theory and evidence in favor of such policies is, it's a bit strange that they're so widespread.