Wisconsin School of Business

Morris Davis

Academic Director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

Associate Professor - James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, Real Estate & Urban Land Economics
James A. Graaskamp Chair in Real Estate

Morris A. Davis is James A. Graaskamp Chair in Real Estate and associate professor in the Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin School of Business. He is also the academic director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate.

Davis is an expert on the pricing of urban land. His research, published in leading economics journals such as the Journal of Monetary Economics, has changed the way researchers approach housing and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis computes the National Income and Product Accounts. Filling a major gap in the availability of residential property data, databases developed by Davis on land and property values in the U.S. are now available online at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

His research focuses on measuring and studying the determinants of land and housing prices. Other interests include health economics, especially the health of the elderly and children.

Davis earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
 

Selected Published Journal Articles


Davis, M., & Ortalo-Magné, F. (2011). Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents. Review of Economic Dynamics (14), 248-261. doi: 10.1016/j.red.2009.12.003.
Davis, M. (2009). The Price and Quantity of Land by Legal Form of Organization in the United States. Regional Science and Urban Economics (39), 350-359. doi: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2009.01.002.
Campbell, S., Davis, M., Gallin, J., & Martin, R. (2009). What Moves Housing Markets? A Variance Decomposition of the Rent-Price Ratio. Journal of Urban Economics (66), 90-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jue.2009.06.002.
Davis, M., Martin, R., & Lehnert, A. (2008). The Rent-Price Ratio for the Aggregate Stock of Owner-Occupied Housing. The Review of Income and Wealth (54), 279-284. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.2008.00274.x.
Davis, M., & Palumbo, M. (2008). The Price of Residential Land in Large U.S. Cities. Journal of Urban Economics (63), 352-384. doi: 10.1016/j.jue.2007.02.003.
Davis, M., & Heathcote, J. (2007). The Price and Quantity of Land in the United States. Journal of Monetary Economics (JME) (54), 2595-2620. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2007.06.023.
Davis, M., & Foster, E. (2005). A Stochastic Dynamic Model of the Mental Health of Children. International Economic Review (46), 837-866. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2354.2005.00348.x.
Davis, M., & Heathcote, J. (2005). Housing and the Business Cycle. International Economic Review (46), 751-784. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2354.2005.00345.x.
Davis, M. Housing and the Business Cycle.
Article AbstractRecent events have led to a renewed effort to understand the nature of cyclical fluctuations in the price and quantity of new investment in housing. This paper provides a brief summary of the existing literature modeling housing and the business cycle.
The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (2010)

Selected Submitted Journal Articles


Davis, M. (2006). The Insurance, Health, and Savings Decisions of Elderly Women Living Alone. International Economic Review

Submitted Working Papers


Davis, M., Fisher, J., & Veracierto, M. The Role of Housing in Labor Reallocation.
Article AbstractThis paper builds a dynamic general equilibrium model of cities and uses it to analyze the role of local housing markets and moving costs in determining the character and extent of labor reallocation in the US economy. Labor reallocation in the model is driven by idiosyncratic city-specific productivity shocks, which we measure using a dataset that we compile using more than 350 U.S. cities for the years 1984 to 2008. Based on this measurement, we find that our model is broadly consistent with the city-level evidence on net and gross population flows, employment, wages and residential investment. We also find that the location-specific nature of housing is more important than moving costs in determining labor reallocation. Absent this quasi-fixity of housing, and under various assumptions governing population flows, population and employment would be much more volatile than observed.

Practitioner-Oriented Publications


Davis, M. (2007). Testimony to the Senate Finance Committe. Testimony to the Senate Finance Committe, 6.
Davis, M., Ortalo-Magné, F., & Rupert, P. (2007). What’s Really Happening in Housing Markets?. Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (July 2007), 4.
Davis, M. Reflections on the Foreclosure Crisis. Land Lines (July)

Presentations


Midwest Macroeconomics Conference ( 2010 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

Society of Economic Dynamics ( 2010 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

University of Essex ( 2010 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

University of Iowa ( 2010 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

WI - FUR Federal Staff Briefing on Reducing Foreclosures ( 2009 ) WI-FUR

European Summer Symposium in Economic Theory ( 2009 ) "House Prices and Mortgage and Wall Street and the Economyadn Monetary and Fiscal Policy....In Less Than 45 Minuters!"

Rays of Reseach ( 2009 ) Buy Now or Buy Later

University of British Columbia ( 2009 ) "Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents"

City University of NY Baruch Real Estate Department ( 2009 ) "Agglomeration and Productivity: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Implications"

Economics and Music Conference ( 2009 ) "Household Expenditures, Wages and Rents"

City University of New York ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

Economics and Music Conference ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

European Summer Symposium in Economic Theory ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

Federal Reseve Bank of Minneapolis ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implicaations of Agglomeration

Housing, Financial Markets and Macroeconomy Conference ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

Macroeconomic Workshop on Current Topics in Macroeconomic Theory and Policy ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications on Agglomeration

Macroeconomics Seminar - UW Madison ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

University of British Columbia ( 2009 ) Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration

Federal Reserve System Conference on Housing and Mortgage Markets ( 2008 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Federal Reserve Bank of New York seminar ( 2008 ) Impacts of Density of Productivity: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Consequences

National Regional Science Council North American Meetings ( 2008 ) Impacts of Density of Productivity: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Consequences

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seminar ( 2008 ) The Price and Quantity of Land by Legal Form of Organization in the United States

Vienna Macroeconomic Workshop on Current Topics in Macroeconomic Theory and Policy ( 2008 ) Housing Liquidity, Home Ownership and Unemployment

University of Texas-Austin seminar ( 2008 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

3rd Annual Real Estate Symposium ( 2008 ) Impacts of Density of Productivity: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Consequences

Midwest Macro Conference ( 2008 ) Impacts of Density of Productivity: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Consequences

Sixth Philadelphia Workshop on Monetary and Macro Economics ( 2008 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco seminar ( 2008 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy ( 2008 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

University of Connecticut seminar ( 2008 ) Impacts of Density of Productivity: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Consequences

Senate Finance Committee ( 2007 ) House Prices and the Macroeconomy

Applied Micro Seminar ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( 2007 ) Productivity and Employment Density: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Implications

National Regional Science Council North American Meetings ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

RSAI Annual North American Meeting ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Toulouse School of Economics ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Vienna Macroeconomic Workshop on Current Topics in Macroeconomic Theory and Policy ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Indiana University seminar ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Western Finance Association ( 2007 ) Does Housing Forecast Income?

University of Essex Economics Conference ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland seminar ( 2007 ) 3 papers on House Prices

Midwest Macro Conference ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago seminar ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

University of California - Berkeley Seminar ( 2007 ) Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents

AREUEA ( 2007 ) The Price of Residential Land in Large U.S. Cities

Society of Economic Dynamics ( 2006 ) Land and Time

Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance ( 2006 ) Land and Time

System Committee Meeting ( 2006 ) Discussion of Hercowitz and Campbell


Undergraduate Courses


Urban & Regional Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES 420 Section 1), Fall 2008.

Urban Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES 420 Section 001), Fall 2006.

Urban Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES 420), Fall 2006.

Urban Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES/RES 420 Section 001), Spring 2007.

Urban Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES 420 Section 001), Fall 2007.

Urban Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES 420 Section 1), Spring 2007.

Urban Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES 420 Section 1), Fall 2007.

Urban & Regional Economics
Course DescriptionNature and structure of urban economies; location of economic activity; economic analysis in an urban framework; principles of urban economic development, housing, transportation, poverty and unemployment and municipal finance. Forecasting of economic activity using census and socioeconomic data.
(RES 420 Section 1), Spring 2008.



Graduate Courses


Advanced Topics in Internation (INT 999 Section 11), Spring 2008.

Adv Urban Land Economics
Course DescriptionA capstone course. Advanced analysis of selected topics in urban land economics, including urban form and location, government regulation of land use and real estate markets.
(RES 875 Section 1), Spring 2010.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 1), Fall 2008.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 1), Spring 2009.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 30), Spring 2009.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732), Fall 2006.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 1), Fall 2009.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 1), Spring 2010.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 30), Spring 2010.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732), Fall 2006.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 1), Fall 2010.

Economics for Managers (MBA Evening)
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 030), Spring 2007.

Economics for Managers (MBA Daytime)
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 001), Spring 2007.

Economics for Managers (MBA Daytime ASAP/ACFIN)
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 001), Fall 2007.

(OTM 732 Section 1), Spring 2007.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 30), Spring 2007.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 1), Fall 2007.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 1), Spring 2008.

Economics for Managers
Course DescriptionThis course develops and applies economic principles to examine the affect of firm, industry, domestic and global market conditions on both day-to-day managerial decision making and long-term strategic planning.
(OTM 732 Section 30), Spring 2008.

Real Estate Finance
Course DescriptionEvaluating the role of financing and leverage in real estate investment analysis; identifying alternative types of financing; valuation of financial structure; sources of equity financing for real estate; mortgage securitization and the operaion of secondary mortgage markets.
(RES 710 Section 1), Fall 2008.

Real Estate Finance
Course DescriptionEvaluating the role of financing and leverage in real estate investment analysis; identifying alternative types of financing; valuation of financial structure; sources of equity financing for real estate; mortgage securitization and the operaion of secondary mortgage markets.
(RES 710 Section 1), Fall 2009.



Learning/Teaching Oriented Publications


Davis, M., Fisher, J., & Whited, T. (2013). Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration.
Article AbstractWe construct a dynamic general equilibrium model of cities and use it to estimate the effect of local agglomeration on per capita consumption growth. Agglomeration affects growth through the density of economic activity: higher production per unit of land raises local productivity. Firms take productivity as given; produce using a technology that has constant returns in developed land, capital, and labor; and accumulate land and capital. If land prices are rising, as they are empirically, firms economize on land. This behavior increases density and contributes to growth. We use a panel of U.S. cities and our model's predicted relationship among wages, output prices, housing rents, and labor quality to estimate the net effect of agglomeration on local wages. The impact of agglomeration on the level of wages is estimated to be 2 percent. Combined with our model and observed increases in land prices, this estimate implies that agglomeration raises per capita consumption growth by 10 percent
Econometrica
Davis, M., & Martin, R. (2009). Housing, Home Production and the Equity and Value Premium Puzzles. Journal of Housing Economics (18), 81–91. doi: 10.1016/j.jhe.2009.04.006.
Davis, M. (2009). Macroeconomics for MBA's and the Masters of Finance.
Article AbstractISBN 10:0521762472 ISBN 13: 978-0521762472
Cambridge University Press, 224.
Davis, M., & Palumbo, M. A Primer on the Economics and Time Series Econometrics of Wealth Effects.
Arouba, S., Davis, M., & Wright, R. Homework in Monetary Economics: Inflation, Home Production, and the Production of Homes.
Article AbstractWe study the effects of inflation in a monetary model extended to incorporate both household production and endogenous investment in housing. As long as cash is used in market transactions, inflation is a tax on market activity, but not on home production. Inflation thus causes substitution out of market and into household activity, encouraging investment in household capital, including housing. We show analytically that through this channel, inflation increases the value of housing scaled by either nominal output or the money supply. We document these relationships in the data, and investigate how a calibrated model can account for the facts.

Photograph of Morris Davis

Morris Davis

Academic Director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate
 
Associate Professor | James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, Real Estate & Urban Land Economics
James A. Graaskamp Chair in Real Estate
(608) 262-8775
5261 Grainger Hall