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Cracks in the Foundations of Growth: What Will the Housing Debacle Mean for the U.S. Economy?

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  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou
  • Greg Hannsgen
  • Gennaro Zezza

Abstract

With economic growth having cooled to 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2007, the economy can ill afford a slump in consumption by the American household. But it now appears that the household sector could finally give in to the pressures of rising gasoline prices, a weakening home market, and a large debt burden. The signals are still mixed; for example, while April’s retail sales numbers caused concern, May’s were much improved, and so was the ISM manufacturing index for June. Consumption growth indicates a slowdown. This Public Policy Brief examines the American household and its economic fortunes, concentrating on how falling home prices might hamper economic growth, generate social dislocations, and possibly lead to a full-blown financial crisis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Public Policy Brief Archive with number ppb_90.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_90

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  1. L. Randall Wray, 1998. "Modern Money," Macroeconomics 9810002, EconWPA.
  2. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & L. Randall Wray, . "Does Social Security Need Saving? Providing for Retirees throughout the Twenty-first Century," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_55, Levy Economics Institute.
  3. Kristopher Gerardi & Harvey S. Rosen & Paul Willen, 2007. "Do Households Benefit from Financial Deregulation and Innovation? The Case of the Mortgage Market," NBER Working Papers 12967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2006. "Housing Wealth, Credit Conditions and Consumption," CSAE Working Paper Series 2006-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Alan Greenspan & James Kennedy, 2008. "Sources and uses of equity extracted from homes," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-144, spring.
  6. Hurst, Erik & Stafford, Frank, 2004. "Home Is Where the Equity Is: Mortgage Refinancing and Household Consumption," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 985-1014, December.
  7. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & Gennaro Zezza & Greg Hannsgen, 2006. "Can Global Imbalances Continue?: Policies for the U.S. Economy," Economics Strategic Analysis Archive sa_nov_06, Levy Economics Institute.
  8. Edward Chilcote, 2006. "Credit Derivatives and Financial Fragility," Economics Policy Note Archive 06-1, Levy Economics Institute.
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Cited by:
  1. Charles J. Whalen, 2007. "The U.S. Credit Crunch of 2007: A Minsky Moment," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_92, Levy Economics Institute.

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