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The Macroeconomic Effects of Housing Wealth, Housing Finance, and Limited Risk-Sharing in General Equilibrium

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

Abstract

This paper studies the role of time-varying risk premia as a channel for generating and propagating fluctuations in housing markets, aggregate quantities, and consumption and wealth heterogeneity. We study a two-sector general equilibrium model of housing and non-housing production where heterogeneous households face limited opportunities to insure against aggregate and idiosyncratic risks. The model generates large variability in the national house price-rent ratio, both because it fluctuates endogenously with the state of the economy and because it rises in response to a relaxation of credit constraints and decline in housing transaction costs (financial market liberalization). These factors, together with a rise in foreign ownership of U.S. debt calibrated to match the actual increase over the period 2000-2006, generate fluctuations in the model price-rent ratio that explains a large fraction of the increase in the national price-rent ratio observed in U.S. data over this period. The model also predicts a sharp decline in home prices starting in 2007, driven by the economic contraction and by a presumed reversal of the financial market liberalization. Fluctuations in the model's price-rent ratio are driven by changing risk premia, which fluctuate endogenously in response to cyclical shocks, the financial market liberalization, and its subsequent reversal. By contrast, we show that the inflow of foreign money into domestic bond markets plays a small role in driving home prices, despite its large depressing influence on interest rates. Finally, the model implies that procyclical increases in equilibrium price-rent ratios reflect rational expectations of lower future housing returns, not higher future rents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15988.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15988

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  1. Zheng Liu & Pengfei Wang & Tao Zha, 2011. "Land-price dynamics and macroeconomic fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 17045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Piazzesi, Monika & Schneider, Martin & Tuzel, Selale, 2007. "Housing, consumption and asset pricing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 531-569, March.
  3. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  4. Benninga, Simon & Protopapadakis, Aris, 1990. "Leverage, time preference and the 'equity premium puzzle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-58, January.
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  6. Eva Carceles-Poveda & Daniele Coen Pirani, 2010. "Owning Capital or Being Shareholders: An Equivalence Result with Incomplete Markets," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(3), pages 537-558, July.
  7. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
  8. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  9. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  10. Brian Peterson, 2003. "Aggregate Uncertainty, Individual Uncertainty and the Housing Market," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 178, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2007. "The Demand for Treasury Debt," NBER Working Papers 12881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Tomasz Piskorski & Alexei Tchistyi, 2011. "Stochastic House Appreciation and Optimal Mortgage Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(5), pages 1407-1446.
  13. Stokey, Nancy L., 2009. "Moving costs, nondurable consumption and portfolio choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2419-2439, November.
  14. 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.
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