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International Capital Flows and House Prices: Theory and Evidence

In: Housing and the Financial Crisis

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  • Jack Favilukis
  • David Kohn
  • Sydney C. Ludvigson
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

Abstract

The last fifteen years have been marked by a dramatic boom-bust cycle in real estate prices, accompanied by economically large fluctuations in international capital flows. We argue that changes in international capital flows played, at most, a small role in driving house price movements in this episode and that, instead, the key causal factor was a financial market liberalization and its subsequent reversal. Using observations on credit standards, capital flows, and interest rates, we find that a bank survey measure of credit supply, by itself, explains 53 percent of the quarterly variation in house price growth in the U.S. over the period 1992-2010, while it explains 66 percent over the period since 2000. By contrast, once we control for credit supply, various measures of capital flows, real interest rates, and aggregate activity—collectively—add less than 5% to the fraction of variation explained for these same movements in home values. Credit supply retains its strong marginal explanatory power for house price movements over the period 2002-2010 in a panel of international data, while capital flows have no explanatory power.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Edward L. Glaeser & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Housing and the Financial Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number glae11-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12626.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12626

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    References

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    1. Gadi Barlevy & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2010. "Mortgage choices and housing speculation," Working Paper Series WP-2010-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Viral V. Acharya & Philipp Schnabl & Gustavo Suarez, 2010. "Securitization without risk transfer," NBER Working Papers 15730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Klaus Adam & Pei Kuang & Albert Marcet, 2011. "House Price Booms and the Current Account," CEP Discussion Papers dp1064, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 12909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Andrea Ferrero, 2011. "House Prices Booms and Current Account Deficits," 2011 Meeting Papers 1386, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Sydney Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Jack Favilukis, 2010. "The Macroeconomic E¤ects of Housing Wealth, Housing Finance, and Limited Risk-Sharing in General Equilibrium," 2010 Meeting Papers 733, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2009. "Current account patterns and national real estate markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 75-89, September.
    8. Laibson, David I. & Mollerstrom, Johanna Britta, 2010. "Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis," Scholarly Articles 4686766, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
    10. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2012. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 301-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Maddaloni, Angela & Peydró, José-Luis, 2010. "Bank risk-taking, securitization, supervision and low interest rates: Evidence from the euro area and the U.S. lending standards," Working Paper Series 1248, European Central Bank.
    12. Benjamin J. Keys & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Mortgage Financing in the Housing Boom and Bust," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 143-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Gete, Pedro, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," MPRA Paper 20957, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.
    14. Joseph Nichols & Anthony Pennington-Cross & Anthony Yezer, 2004. "Borrower Self-Selection, Underwriting Costs, and Subprime Mortgage Credit Supply," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 197-219, November.
    15. Jean Imbs & Giovanni Favara, 2011. "Credit Supply and the Price of Housing," 2011 Meeting Papers 1342, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Manuel Adelino & Antoinette Schoar & Felipe Severino, 2012. "Credit Supply and House Prices: Evidence from Mortgage Market Segmentation," NBER Working Papers 17832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gete, Pedro & Tiernan, Natalie, 2014. "Lending Standards and Countercyclical Capital Requirements under Imperfect Information," MPRA Paper 54486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Peter Tillmann, 2012. "Capital Inflows and Asset Prices: Evidence from Emerging Asia," Working Papers 182012, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    3. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2013. "Real Estate Valuation, Current Account and Credit Growth Patterns, Before and After the 2008-9 Crisis," NBER Working Papers 19190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. François Geerolf & Thomas Grjebine, 2013. "House Prices Drive Current Accounts: Evidence From Property Tax Variations," Working Papers 2013-18, CEPII research center.
    5. Carolina Arteaga & Carlos Huertas Campos & Sergio Olarte Armenta, 2012. "Índice de Desbalance Macroeconómico," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 010077, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. Philip Lane & Peter McQuade, 2013. "Domestic Credit Growth and International Capital Flows," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp428, IIIS.
    7. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2012. "The Research Agenda: Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh on Housing and the Macroeconomy," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), April.

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