Professor Christian  Hilber

Professor Christian Hilber

Professor of Economic Geography; Deputy Head of Department (Teaching)

Department of Geography and Environment

020 7107 5016
Room No
CKK 4.22
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English, French, German
Key Expertise
Housing markets, homeownership, housing supply, land use regulation

About me

Christian Hilber is Professor of Economic Geography. He is an Associate of the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP). Christian is also a member of the Academic Panel of the What Works Centre.

Christian holds a Ph.D. in Economics (1998) and an MSc in Business and Economics (1994) from the University of Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining LSE in 2003, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1999-2002) and an Economist at Fannie Mae (2002-2003).

Christian’s research concerns urban economics, real estate, housing and local public finance, and political economy. The core focus of his current research is on issues relating to housing and land supply, land use regulation, homeownership, property price determination, agglomeration economies, and social capital. He has published in journals such as Review of Economics and StatisticsEconomic Journal, Journal of Public Economics and Journal of Urban Economics

He currently serves as an Associate Editor of Regional Science and Urban Economics and of the Journal of Regional Science, and as a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Housing Economics. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Public Finance Review. He served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA) between 2015 and 2017. He is a Fellow of the Weimer School of Advanced Studies in Real Estate and Land Economics. He has served as a consultant to the H.M. Treasury and gave evidence to the National Audit Office, the H.M. Treasury Select Committee, and the House of Lords Select Committee.

His work has been quoted in the Economist, Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, among other outlets, and was used as evidence in Hearings before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. Christian has won numerous prizes for his research, teaching, and services to the research community (refereeing). 

His recent working papers, forthcoming publications, other publications and his CV can be viewed on his personal homepage.

Expertise Details

Urban and real estate economics; housing and land markets with focus on homeownership; house price capitalization; land and housing supply; land use regulations and property price dynamics

Countries and regions

Switzerland; UK; USA


Land use planning; central government grants; fiscal decentralization; help to buy;homeownership subsidies; homeownership; house price capitalization; house prices; housing cycles; housing policies; housing supply; housing transfer taxes (stamp duty); land supply;local public finance; mortgage interest deduction; property taxes; real estate cycles;regulatory constraints; supply constraints; town centre first

Selected publications


Housing in Europe: A Different Continent – A Continent of Differences,” with Paul C. Cheshire, Journal of Housing Economics, 2018, Vol. 42, 1-3.

Institutional Settings and Urban Sprawl: Evidence from Europe,” with Maximilian V. Ehrlich and Olivier Schöni, Journal of Housing Economics, 2018, Vol. 42, 4-18.

Empty Homes, Longer Commutes: The Unintended Consequences of More Restrictive Local Planning,” with Paul Cheshire and Hans Koster, Journal of Public Economics, 2018, Vol. 158, 126-151.

Mortgage Debt and Entrepreneurship,” with Philippe Bracke and Olmo Silva, Journal of Urban Economics, 2018, Vol. 103, 52-66.
(Paper featured in The Economist – Free exchange Economics: The weekly papers; The Huffington Post and other media outlets)

Take me to the Centre of Your Town! Using Micro-Geographical Data to Identify Town Centres,” with Paul Cheshire, Piero Montebruno and Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, CESifo Economic Studies, 2018, Vol. 64, No. 2, 255-291.


Transfer Taxes and Household Mobility: Distortion on the Housing or Labor Market?,” with Teemu Lyytikäinen, Journal of Urban Economics, 2017, Vol. 101, 57-73.
(Paper quoted in The Economist, Financial Times, Telegraph (front page top story), and many other news outlets; featured as ESRC Briefing and in ESRC’s Society Now)

 “The Economic Implications of House Price Capitalization: A Synthesis,” Real Estate Economics, 2017, Vol. 45, No. 2, 301-339.


The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England,” with Wouter Vermeulen, Economic Journal, 2016, Vol. 126, No. 591, 358-405.
(Paper quoted in The Economist, Financial Times, Telegraph, Wall Street Journal and other news outlets. Paper featured in The Economist – Free exchange Economics: The weekly papers)

Housing Policies in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States: Lessons Learned,” with Olivier Schöni, Cityscape, 2016, Vol. 18, No. 3, 291-332.


Land Use Regulation and Productivity – Land Matters: Evidence from a UK supermarket chain,” with Paul Cheshire and Ioannis Kaplanis, Journal of Economic Geography, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 1, 43-73. (Paper featured in The Economist – Free exchange Economics: The weekly papers)


The Mortgage Interest Deduction and its Impact on Homeownership Decisions,” with Tracy M. Turner, Review of Economics and Statistics, 2014, Vol. 96, No. 4, 618-637.
 (Paper quoted in Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, Brookings, Forbes and many other media outlets; paper used as evidence in Hearings before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee)


On the Origins of Land Use Regulations: Theory and Evidence from US Metro Areas,” with Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, Journal of Urban Economics, 2013, Vol. 75, No. 1, 29-43.


Capitalization of Central Government Grants into Local House Prices: Panel Data Evidence from England,” with Teemu Lyytikäinen and Wouter Vermeulen, Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2011, Vol. 41, No. 4, 394-406.

Rijksuitkering aan lokale overheid slaat neer in woningprijs,” with Teemu Lyytikäinen and Wouter Vermeulen, ESB (Economic Statistical Releases), 2011, Vol. 96, 282-284. (Central government grants to local governments capitalize into house prices.)


Agglomeration Economies and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment: Empirical Evidence from Romania,” with Ioan Voicu, Regional Studies, 2010, Vol. 44, No. 3, 355-371.

'New Housing Supply and the Dilution of Social Capital', Journal of Urban Economics, 2010, Vol. 67, No. 3, 419-437.
(Article featured in various news outlets including Daily Mail.)


"Why Do Households Without Children Support Local Public Schools? Linking house price capitalization to school spending", (with Christopher J. Mayer), Journal of Urban Economics, 2009, Vol. 65, No. 1, 74-90. 


"Explaining the Black-White Homeownership Gap: The role of own wealth, parental externalities and locational preferences", (with Yingchun Liu), Journal of Housing Economics, 2008, Vol. 17, No. 2, 152-174.

"Office Supply Restrictions in Britain: The political economy of market revenge", (with Paul Cheshire)Economic Journal, 2008, Vol. 118, Issue 529, F185-F221. 
(Paper quoted in The Economist’s ‘Leader’ and ‘Briefing’ on 2/4/2015 and in The Economist’s ‘Free Exchange’ on 13/10/2012)


Der Einfluss von Preisänderungen auf Angebot und Nachfrage von Immobilien: Theorie, empirische Evidenz und Implikationen,” Zeitschrift für Immobilienökonomie (German Journal of Property Research), 2007, Issue 1/07, 5-20 (lead article) with extended English abstract. (The Impact of Price Changes on the Supply and Demand of Properties: Theory, Empirical Evidence and Implications.)


An Empirical Test of the Theory of Sales: Do Household Storage Constraints Affect Consumer and Store Behavior?” with David R. Bell, Quantitative Marketing and Economics, 2006, Vol. 4, No. 2, 87-117 (lead article).


"Neighbourhood Externality Risk and the Homeownership Status of Properties", Journal of Urban Economics, 2005, Vol. 57, No. 2, 213-241 (lead article).


"School Funding Equalization and Residential Location for the Young and the Elderly", with Christopher J. Mayer, Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 2004, Issue 5, 107-148.