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UC Center Sacramento, 1130 K Street, Room LL3

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During the recent financial crisis, mortgage default rose to levels not seen in the US in many years. This surge occurred mainly in response to a sharp drop in house prices, combined with a rise mortgage payments for some borrowers. At the time, the public discourse showed substantial confusion about the correct apportionment for blame for surging defaults, and the views underlying this confusion continue to the present day in many quarters. The purpose of the presentation is offer a simple conceptual framework for understanding why default happens, who is responsible when it does, and possible roles for public policy in a default crisis. The discussion also provides insight into the effect of the past crisis on the recent evolution of mortgage lending standards.

Jan K. Brueckner is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine. He received anBrueckner Photo A.B. from UC Berkeley in 1972 and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1976, and was a long-time faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before coming to UCI in 2005. He has served as visiting professor at UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego, and has been a visiting scholar at many foreign universities.

Brueckner has published extensively in the areas of urban economics, public economics, housing finance, and the economics of the airline industry. He served as editor of the Journal of Urban Economics for 16 years and is currently a member of the editorial boards of 8 journals. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the US Department of Transportation, many of the major airlines, and other organizations.

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UC Center Sacramento, 1130 K Street, Room LL3

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