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Financial innovation and the Great Moderation: what do household data say?

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  • Karen E. Dynan
  • Douglas W. Elmendorf
  • Daniel E. Sichel

Abstract

Aggressive deregulation of the household debt market in the early 1980s triggered innovations that greatly reduced the required home equity of U.S. households, allowing them to cash-out a large part of accumulated equity. In 1982, home equity equaled 71 percent of GDP; so this generated a borrowing shock of huge macroeconomic proportions. The combination of increasing household debt from 43 to 56 percent of GDP with high interest rates during the 1982-1990 period is consistent with such a shock to households’ demand for funds. This paper uses a quantitative general equilibrium model of lending from the wealthy to the middle class to evaluate the positive and normative aspects of the transition to a high debt economy. Using the model, we interpret evidence on the changing distribution of assets and debt as well as macro time series since 1982.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): Nov ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2006:i:nov:x:2

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Keywords: Households - Economic aspects;

References

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  1. Margaret McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  2. Caterina Mendicino, 2006. "Credit Market and Macroeconomic Volatility," 2006 Meeting Papers 317, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Brugiavini, Agar, 2001. "Risk Pooling, Precautionary Saving and Consumption Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 757-79, October.
  4. Joe Peek & James A. Wilcox, 2006. "Housing, Credit Constraints, and Macro Stability: The Secondary Mortgage Market and Reduced Cyclicality of Residential Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 135-140, May.
  5. Chris Carroll & Wendy Dunn, 1997. "Unemployment Expectations, Jumping (S,s) Triggers, and Household Balance Sheets," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 165-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dynan, Karen E. & Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2006. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 123-150, January.
  7. Stephen Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms," Working Papers 06-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997. "Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Urban Jermann & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2007. "Financial Innovations and Macroeconomic Volatility," 2007 Meeting Papers 50, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Fisher Jonathan D & Johnson David S, 2006. "Consumption Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Two Panel Data Sets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-38, September.
  12. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2002. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Earnings in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C68-C73, March.
  13. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Orazio Attanasio & Gabriella Berloffa & Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 2002. "From Earnings Inequality to Consumption Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C52-C59, March.
  15. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
  16. Kristopher Gerardi & Harvey S. Rosen & Paul Willen, 2006. "Do households benefit from financial deregulation and innovation?: the case of the mortgage market," Public Policy Discussion Paper 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  17. Susan Dynarski & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Can Families Smooth Variable Earnings?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 229-303.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kristopher Gerardi & Harvey S. Rosen & Paul Willen, 2006. "Do households benefit from financial deregulation and innovation?: the case of the mortgage market," Public Policy Discussion Paper 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Shalini Mitra, 2012. "Does Financial Development Cause Higher Firm Volatility and Lower Aggregate Volatility?," Working papers 2012-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  3. Antonella Tutino, 2012. "Online Appendix to "Rationally inattentive consumption choices"," Technical Appendices 11-143, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  4. Mark Doms & Fred Furlong & John Krainer, 2007. "Subprime mortgage delinquency rates," Working Paper Series 2007-33, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. James Feigenbaum & Geng Li, 2011. "Household income uncertainties over three decades," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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