Friday, December 11, 2009

Case, of the Case-Schiller Housing Index, to Retire

By Jenifer B. McKim

The idea for the most influential measure of the nation’s housing market began in Karl E. Case’s living room about 25 years ago. The Wellesley College economics professor was stunned to realize he had earned more in equity in his three-bedroom home than he made teaching during the same period.

He grew obsessed with housing values and wanted to come up with a better way to measure them. Within a few years, Case and his colleague Robert J. Shiller of Yale University created what is now called the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices, a measure based on repeat home sales that industry officials and economists rely on to gauge the health of the country’s housing market.

Case spun his ideas on home values into a series of papers, became one of the nation’s foremost specialists on housing, and imparted his passion to students, leading them on tours of Boston neighborhoods and requiring them to go through the process of buying a house as part of their course work.

Now the 63-year-old professor, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, has decided to retire, his last class scheduled for today.

Read the rest of the article here.

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