Natural experiments in economics don't occur very often, at least not big ones of the sort that interest macroeconomists like me. But today we had not one but three big natural experiments. One is already concluded; the other two will play out over the next few months and years. Experiment #1. Does the powerful real estate lobby have enough political power to prevent Congress from taking away the mortgage interest deduction from the vast majority of taxpayers? Most people previously assumed the answer was yes. But today we found out the answer is no. Under the new tax bill very few taxpayers will deduct mortgage interest. Experiment #2. Does the mortgage interest deduction play a big role in
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