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Wealth, Credit Conditions and Consumption: Evidence from South Africa

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  • Janine Aron
  • John Muellbauer

Abstract

There is widespread disagreement about the role of housing wealth in explaining consumption.� This paper exploits liquid and illiquid wealth time series from household balance sheet data for South Africa, previously constructed by the authors, to explain fluctuations in the ratios of consumption and household debt to income in South Africa, from 1971 to 2005.� The paper emphasizes the role of substantial credit liberalization and of wealth, treating credit conditions as a latent variable with key interactions with drivers of consumption and debt.� Credit conditions are proxied by a spline function entering jointly estimated consumption, debt and income expectations equations in a 'latent interactive variable equation system' (LIVES).� The empirical results corroborate the theory in the paper, confirming that consumption relative to income is driven by credit liberalization, fluctuations in a range of asset values and asset accumulation, uncertainty and income expectations, inter alia.� The paper confirms a collateral interpretation of housing wealth on consumption as opposed to a life-cycle interpretation.� The paper also throws important light on the monetary policy transmission mechanism in South Africa.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 580.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:580

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Keywords: Consumption; Household debt; Credit market liberalization; credit conditions; Liquid and illiquid wealth; Housing collateral and housing wealth;

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References

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  1. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John, 2002. "Interest Rate Effects on Output: Evidence from a GDP Forecasting Model for South Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 3595, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2000. "Personal and corporate saving in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-21, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Orazio Attanasio & Laura Blow & Robert Hamilton & Andrew Leicester, 2005. "Booms and busts: consumption, house prices and expectations," IFS Working Papers W05/24, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Karl E. Case & John M. Quigley & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1335, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Kosuke Aoki & James Proudman & Gertjan Vlieghe, 2002. "House prices, consumption, and monetary policy: a financial accelerator approach," Bank of England working papers 169, Bank of England.
  6. Slacalek Jiri, 2009. "What Drives Personal Consumption? The Role of Housing and Financial Wealth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, October.
  7. Muellbauer, John & Williams, David M, 2011. "Credit Conditions and the Real Economy: The Elephant in the Room," CEPR Discussion Papers 8386, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2010. "Housing markets and the financial crisis of 2007-2009: lessons for the future," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33613, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1992. "Saving, Growth and Liquidity Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2006. "Estimates Of Household Sector Wealth For South Africa, 1970-2003," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(2), pages 285-307, 06.
  11. Janine Aron & John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Keiko Murata & Anthony Murphy, 2010. "Credit, housing collateral and consumption: evidence from the UK, Japan and the US," Working Papers 1002, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  12. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. John Muellbauer & John Duca, 2012. "Tobin Lives: Integrating evolving credit market architecture into flow of funds based macro-models," Economics Series Working Papers 622, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Albuquerque, Bruno & Baumann, Ursel & Krustev, Georgi, 2014. "Has US household deleveraging ended? a model-based estimate of equilibrium debt," Working Paper Series 1643, European Central Bank.
  3. Muellbauer, John, 2008. "Housing, Credit and Consumer Expenditure," CEPR Discussion Papers 6782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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