John M. Quigley, who died last week, was a pioneering economist who helped change the way we think about housing. He devised statistical models of housing quality and the risks inherent in mortgage-backed securities, documented the discrimination that restricted the housing choices of African-Americans, and wrote about the impact of housing wealth on consumption. In 1970, the Journal of the American Statistical Association published a path-breaking paper by Quigley and his mentor, the urban economist John Kain, on the determinants of housing prices. They were not the first economists to try to tease out the impact of structure and neighborhood on prices and rents, but Kain and Quigley had a rich data set that enabled them to develop the prototype for papers estimating the value of housing quality.
Glaeser, Edward L. "The Economist Who Changed the Way We Think About Housing." Bloomberg News, May 15, 2012.