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Consumption Responses to Permanent and Transitory Shocks to House Appreciation: Working Paper 2009-05

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  • Juan Contreras
  • Joseph Nichols

Abstract

We estimate the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of permanent and transitory shocks to house price appreciation. Besides borrowing constraints, we consider two different models under which those shocks may affect consumption. In the first one, we treat housing as a risky asset. In the second one, housing has a role as a consumption and as an investment good. In both, changes in the rate of house price appreciation may affect nonhousing consumption. Shocks to appreciation rates may happen when increases in future house prices are expected to differ from the current ones because heterogeneity, market failures or errors in expectations. We test the implications of those models empirically using the PSID’s imputed total consumption from food consumption and self-reported house values, and base our identification strategy on two sources of variation in the appreciation rate. The first source depends on the fact that home prices are far more cyclical in areas where the supply of housing is relatively inelastic, causing the permanent and the transitory changes in appreciation rates to vary significantly by area. The second source is households’ perceptions about which parts of shocks to appreciation rates are permanent or transitory. We model households’ self-reported rate of appreciation as an AR(1) process and use both the Hodrick-Prescott and the Kalman filter to separate households’ perceptions about permanent and transitory shocks to appreciation. Our results show that (1) consumption responses to house wealth shocks vary greatly by area and depend upon the area-specific levels of temporal persistence and variance of those shocks; (2) the overall MPC out of those shocks is 3.5%; (3) the MPC out of permanent shocks is between 3.4% and 9.1%; and (4) the MPC out of transitory shocks is between 0.5% and 3.3%.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Congressional Budget Office in its series Working Papers with number 41876.

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Date of creation: 18 Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cbo:wpaper:41876

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  1. Bent E. Sørensen & Maria Jose Luengo-Prado, 2005. "What Can Explain Excess Smoothness and Sensitivity of State-Level Consumption?," Working Papers 2005-03, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  2. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "How Do House Prices Affect Consumption? Evidence From Micro Data," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2083, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 276-299, March.
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  9. IFS,Renata Bottazzi, Institute for Fiscal Studies,Hamish Low, University of Cambrdige & Renata Bottazzi & Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Lars Nesheim & Matthew Wakefield, 2006. "Explaining Life-Cycle Profiles of Home-Ownership and Labour Supply," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 511, Society for Computational Economics.
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  12. John D. Benjamin & Peter Chinloy & G. Donald Jud, 2004. "Real Estate Versus Financial Wealth in Consumption," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 341-354, November.
  13. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  14. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Wenli Li & Rui Yao, 2007. "The Life-Cycle Effects of House Price Changes," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(6), pages 1375-1409, 09.
  16. Miles S. Kimball, 1990. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume," NBER Working Papers 3403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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