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Did housing policies cause the postwar boom in homeownership?

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  • Carlos Garriga
  • Matthew Chambers
  • Don Schlagenhauf

Abstract

After the collapse of housing markets during the Great Depression, the U.S. government played a large role in shaping the future of housing finance and policy. Soon thereafter, housing markets witnessed the largest boom in recent history. The objective in this paper is to quantify the contribution of government interventions in housing markets in the expansion of U.S. homeownership using an equilibrium model of tenure choice. In the model, home buyers have access to a menu of mort- gage choices to finance the acquisition of a house. The government also provides special programs through provisions of the tax code. The parameterized model is consistent with key aggregate and distributional features observed in the 1940 U.S. economy and is capable of accounting for the boom in homeownership in 1960. The decomposition suggests that government policies have significant importance. For example, the expansion in maturity of the fixed-rate mortgage to 30 years can account for 25 percent of the increase. Housing policies, such as the introduction of the mortgage interest deduction, can account for 13 percent of the increase in homeownership.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2012-021.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2012-021

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Keywords: Housing ; Home ownership;

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  4. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don Schlagenhauf, 2007. "Accounting for changes in the homeownership rate," Working Papers 2007-034, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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  24. Carl F. Behrens, 1952. "Appendices and Index to "Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing"," NBER Chapters, in: Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing, pages 85-125 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Chambers, Matthew & Garriga, Carlos & Schlagenhauf, Don E., 2009. "Housing policy and the progressivity of income taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1116-1134, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel K. Fetter, 2013. "The Home Front: Rent Control and the Rapid Wartime Increase in Home Ownership," NBER Working Papers 19604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anagnostopoulos, Alexis & Atesagaoglu, Orhan Erem & Carceles-Poveda, Eva, 2013. "Skill-biased technological change and homeownership," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 3012-3033.

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