The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Rethinking Infrastructure: Professor Christian Hilber | London School of Economics

20 March 2018, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

Rethinking infrastructure: 2017-18 keynote lecture series

Event Information

Open to







The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management


The Bartlett: UCL's Faculty of the Built Environment

Constraining second home investments: the economic impacts

Professor Christian Hilber - Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics - joins us for the final event in The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management’s 2017-18 keynote lecture series.

Constraining second home investments in tourist destinations or superstar cities is an increasingly popular policy, not just in the UK but across the globe.

In this lecture, Professor Hilber investigates the housing and labour market impacts of such political backlash against wealthy investors.

He provides evidence from a quasi-natural experiment - the Swiss ‘Second Home Initiative’ - suggesting that the adverse effects of banning second home investments on local economies dominate any positive amenity preservation effects. Local residents are on average worse off, while existing owners of second homes are the main beneficiaries.

Professor Hilber concludes that, at least in locations where primary and second homes are not very close substitutes, constraining second home investments may reinforce rather than reduce wealth inequality. Imposing an additional annual local tax on the value of second homes is a preferable (less bad) policy than banning the construction of new second homes outright.

The lecture will begin at 18.30 and will be followed by a networking reception from 19.30.

About our speaker

Professor Christian Hilber is Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics (LSE). Before joining LSE, he was an economist at Fannie Mae and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Basel.
Prof Hilber's research interests include urban economics, real estate (in particular land and housing markets), local public finance, and political economics. He is the Director of LSE’s MSc Real Estate Economics and Finance programme. He is an Associate of the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance and of the Spatial Economics Research Centre.

He has won numerous prizes for his teaching and research including the LSE Teaching Prize (2016), the LSE Major Review Teaching Prize (2009), various best paper and annual referee prizes, and the University of Basel PhD Prize (1999). Prof Hilber has published in journals such as Review of Economics and StatisticsEconomic JournalJournal of Urban Economics and Journal of Economic Geography.