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House price Keynesianism and the contradictions of the modern investor subject

By Matthew Watson

Abstract

This article conceptualises the marked downturn in UK house prices in the 2007-2009 period in relation to longer-term processes of national economic restructuring centred on a new model of homeownership. The structure of UK house prices has been impacted markedly by the Labour Government‟s efforts to ingrain a particular notion of financial literacy amid the move towards an increasingly asset-based system of welfare. New model welfare recipients and new model homeowners have thereby been co-constituted in a manner consistent with a new UK growth regime of „house price Keynesianism‟. However, the investor subjects who drive such growth are necessarily rendered uncertain as compared with the idealised image of Government policy because of their reliance on the credit-creating decisions of private financial institutions. The recent steep decline in UK house prices is explained here as an epiphenomenon of the disruptive effect on the idealised image caused by the dependence of investor subjects on pricing dynamics not of their making

Topics: HB
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2713

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