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Do House Prices Affect Consumption? A Re-assessment of the Wealth Hypothesis

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  • Cristini, Annalisa

    ()
    (University of Bergamo)

  • Sevilla, Almudena

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper undertakes a comparison exercise to disentangle what drives the opposite findings regarding the effect of house prices on consumption documented in two papers using the same data set for the UK. On the one hand, Campbell and Cocco (2007) find that old owners are the most benefited by a house price increase and young renters the least, confirming the so-called wealth hypothesis. On the other hand, Attanasio, Blow, Hamilton, and Leicester (2009) find that house prices have the same impact on consumption across age groups, consistent with the so-called common factor hypothesis. First, we confirm that the findings in both papers can be reproduced. Second, we rule out a number of potential reasons related to the basic data construction, and provide evidence that the functional form (i.e., an Euler equation of consumption vs. a reduced form life-cycle model) and not data aggregation considerations (household level data vs. synthetic cohort data) may be at the root of the conflicting results in the two papers. Our findings revive the debate of whether there is an effect of house prices on consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7576.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7576

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Keywords: consumption; house prices; wealth hypothesis; common factor hypothesis;

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  1. Riccardo De Bonis & Andrea Silvestrini, 2011. "The effects of financial and real wealth on consumption: new evidence from OECD countries," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 837, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Hryshko, Dmytro & Luengo-Prado, Maria Jose & Sorensen, Bent E, 2010. "House Prices and Risk Sharing," CEPR Discussion Papers 7894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Sydney Ludvigson & Christina H. Paxson, 1997. "Approximation bias in linearized Euler equations," Research Paper 9712, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-43, May.
  5. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
  6. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Alexander Michaelides & Kalin Nikolov, 2011. "Winners and Losers in Housing Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 255-296, 03.
  7. Martin Browning & Mette Gørtz & Søren Leth‐Petersen, 2013. "Housing Wealth and Consumption: A Micro Panel Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 401-428, 05.
  8. S�ren Leth-Petersen, 2010. "Intertemporal Consumption and Credit Constraints: Does Total Expenditure Respond to an Exogenous Shock to Credit?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1080-1103, June.
  9. Richard Disney & John Gathergood & Andrew Henley, 2010. "House Price Shocks, Negative Equity, and Household Consumption in the United Kingdom," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1179-1207, December.
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