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International Capital Flows and House Prices: Theory and Evidence

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

Abstract

The last fifteen years have been marked by a dramatic boom-bust cycle in real estate prices, accompanied by economically large fluctuations in international capital flows. We argue that changes in international capital flows played, at most, a small role in driving house price movements in this episode and that, instead, the key causal factor was a financial market liberalization and its subsequent reversal. Using observations on credit standards, capital flows, and interest rates, we find that a bank survey measure of credit supply, by itself, explains 53 percent of the quarterly variation in house price growth in the U.S. over the period 1992-2010, while it explains 66 percent over the period since 2000. By contrast, once we control for credit supply, various measures of capital flows, real interest rates, and aggregate activity—collectively—add less than 5% to the fraction of variation explained for these same movements in home values. Credit supply retains its strong marginal explanatory power for house price movements over the period 2002-2010 in a panel of international data, while capital flows have no explanatory power.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17751.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Publication status: published as International Capital Flows and House Prices: Theory and Evidence , Jack Favilukis, David Kohn, Sydney C. Ludvigson, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh. in Housing and the Financial Crisis , Glaeser and Sinai. 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17751

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  1. Klaus Adam & Pei Kuang & Albert Marcet, 2011. "House Price Booms and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 17224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jean Imbs & Giovanni Favara, 2011. "Credit Supply and the Price of Housing," 2011 Meeting Papers 1342, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. David Laibson & Johanna Mollerstrom, 2010. "Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 15759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Viral V. Acharya & Philipp Schnabl & Gustavo Suarez, 2010. "Securitization without risk transfer," NBER Working Papers 15730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gadi Barlevy & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2010. "Mortgage choices and housing speculation," Working Paper Series WP-2010-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Gete, Pedro, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," MPRA Paper 20957, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.
  7. Andrea Ferrero, 2011. "House Prices Booms and Current Account Deficits," 2011 Meeting Papers 1386, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Jack Favilukis & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Housing Wealth, Housing Finance, and Limited Risk-Sharing in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 15988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "Current Account Patterns and National Real Estate Markets," NBER Working Papers 13921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2012. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 301-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  12. Benjamin J. Keys & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Mortgage Financing in the Housing Boom and Bust," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 143-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Angela Maddaloni, 2011. "Bank Risk-taking, Securitization, Supervision, and Low Interest Rates: Evidence from the Euro-area and the U.S. Lending Standards," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2121-2165.
  14. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 12909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Joseph Nichols & Anthony Pennington-Cross & Anthony Yezer, 2004. "Borrower Self-Selection, Underwriting Costs, and Subprime Mortgage Credit Supply," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 197-219, November.
  16. Manuel Adelino & Antoinette Schoar & Felipe Severino, 2012. "Credit Supply and House Prices: Evidence from Mortgage Market Segmentation," NBER Working Papers 17832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Tillmann, Peter, 2012. "Capital inflows and asset prices: Evidence from emerging Asia," IMFS Working Paper Series 58, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS), Goethe University Frankfurt.
  2. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2013. "Real Estate Valuation, Current Account and Credit Growth Patterns, Before and After the 2008-9 Crisis," NBER Working Papers 19190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Geerolf, François & Grjebine, Thomas, 2013. "House Prices Drive Current Accounts: Evidence from Property Tax Variations," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1315, CEPREMAP.
  4. Carolina Arteaga & Carlos Huertas Campos & Sergio Olarte Armenta, 2012. "Índice de Desbalance Macroeconómico," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 010077, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  5. Lane, Philip R. & McQuade, Peter, 2013. "Domestic credit growth and international capital flows," Working Paper Series 1566, European Central Bank.
  6. Gete, Pedro & Tiernan, Natalie, 2014. "Lending Standards and Countercyclical Capital Requirements under Imperfect Information," MPRA Paper 54486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2012. "The Research Agenda: Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh on Housing and the Macroeconomy," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), April.

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