Did Evangelicals Save Dallas From the Housing Bubble?

That’s basically the  thesis of this paper by Christopher Crowe for the International Monetary Fund. Wendall Cox — keeping a straight face – finds some problems with the notion, starting with this:

Rising prices are needed for there to be any incentive to speculate. If, for example, the numerous Evangelicals in Dallas-Fort Worth had undertaken a furious speculative frenzy, prices would not have gone up, instead more houses would have been built. This is because the liberal land use regime in Dallas-Fort Worth permits housing to be built in response to demand and nullifies any potential for speculative gain. Evangelicals, of course, like Catholics, Mainstream Protestants, Jews and Atheists are not stupid and were no more inclined to speculate on housing in the plentiful Dallas-Fort Worth market than they would have been climb over one another to offer higher prices for sand on the beach.

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