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Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics

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  • University of Chicago
  • Pedro Gete
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    Abstract

    I model global imbalances as arising from changes in preferences for housing relative to tradable goods. The key ingredients in the model are labor reallocation across sectors and consumption smoothing between housing and tradable goods. Countries import goods during periods when more domestic labor is devoted to housing construction. Housing booms are larger in countries that can run trade deficits. This occurs despite the absence of wealth effects, and even if trade is not primarily concentrated in capital goods. I provide several types of evidence to support the theory. First, over the last decade housing variables have decoupled from the business cycle while durable and total consumption expenditures have not. Second, for the same period there has been a strong cross-country correlation between housing variables and current account dynamics. Third, in a parameterized version of the model, housing demand shocks that match the cross-country dynamics of housing quantities generate current account dynamics matching recent global imbalances. Fourth, I use sign restrictions implied by the model to estimate a vector autoregression and identify the effects of housing shocks on the U.S. trade deficit. The results suggest that housing shocks are an important driving force of current account dynamics.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 427.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:427

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    Cited by:
    1. Luisa Lambertini & Caterina Mendicino & Maria Tereza Punzi, 2011. "Leaning Against Boom-Bust Cycles in Credit and Housing Prices," Working Papers w201108, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    2. Christophe Andre & Luis A. Gil-Alana & Rangan Gupta, 2013. "Comovement in Euro Area Housing Prices: A Fractional Cointegration Approach," Working Papers 201359, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    3. Jane Dokko & Brian Doyle & Michael T. Kiley & Jinill Kim & Shane Sherlund & Jae Sim & Skander Van den Heuvel, 2009. "Monetary policy and the housing bubble," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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