A system dynamics model of cyclical office oversupply

Kummerow, Max and Keen, Stephen [Author-contributor] (1999) A system dynamics model of cyclical office oversupply. Journal of Real Estate Research, 18(1), pp. 233-255. ISSN (print) 0896-5803


This article explores office market system dynamics through a simple simulation model. Model lag and adjustment parameters similar to real office markets generate explosive cycles. Simulations show that deviations from equilibrium can be reduced by changing the information structure of the system. System dynamics, principle/agent conflicts, a prisoners' dilemma game, faulty information (poor forecasting, market research and valuation techniques), regulatory institutions, and differing equilibria in office space and financial markets all contribute to allocative inefficiency. Thinking of office markets as a "managed feedback control system" may be a useful representation of the oversupply problem. Leverage points for system improvement may be a municipal "queue" to address agency and prisoner's dilemma problems, improved forecasting techniques and more reliance on forecasting.

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