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Housing wealth isn't wealth

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  • Buiter, Willem H.

Abstract

A fall in house prices due to a change in its fundamental value redistributes wealth from those long housing (for whom the fundamental value of the house they own exceeds the present discounted value of their planned future consumption of housing services) to those short housing. In a closed economy representative agent model and in the Yaari-Blanchard OLG model used in the paper, there is no pure wealth effect on consumption from a change in house prices if this represents a change in their fundamental value. There is a pure wealth effect on consumption from a change in house prices if this reflects a change in the speculative bubble component of house prices. Two other channels through which a fall in house prices can affect aggregate consumption are (1) redistribution effects if the marginal propensity to spend out of wealth differs between those long housing (the old, say) and those short housing (the young, say) and (2) collateral or credit effects due to the collateralisability of housing wealth and the non-collateralisability of human wealth. A decline in house prices reduces the scope for mortgage equity withdrawal. For given sequences of future after-tax labour income and interest rates, this may depress consumption in the short run while boosting it in the long run. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2009-56.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:200956

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Keywords: Wealth effect; house prices; speculative bubbles;

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References

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  1. Karl E. Case, John M. Quigley, Robert J. Shiller., 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus The Housing Market," Economics Working Papers E01-308, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Vladimir Klyuev & Paul Mills, 2007. "Is Housing Wealth an “ATM”? The Relationship Between Household Wealth, Home Equity Withdrawal, and Saving Rates," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 539-561, July.
  3. Matteo Iacoviello, 2004. "Consumption, House Prices and Collateral Constraints: a Structural Econometric Analysis," 2004 Meeting Papers 201, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  5. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
  6. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Flint Brayton & Eileen Mauskopf & David Reifschneider & Peter Tinsley & John Williams, 1997. "The role of expectations in the FRB/US macroeconomic model," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Apr, pages 227-245.
  8. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 279-93, June.
  9. F. Brayton & P. Tinsley, 1996. "A guide to FRB/US: a macroeconomic model of the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. 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.
  11. Edelstein, Robert H. & Lum, Sau Kim, 2004. "House prices, wealth effects, and the Singapore macroeconomy," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 342-367, December.
  12. Carroll, Christopher D. & Otsuka, Misuzu & Slacalek, Jirka, 2006. "How large is the housing wealth effect? A new approach," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/35, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  13. Brayton, Flint & Levin, Andrew & Lyon, Ralph & Williams, John C., 1997. "The evolution of macro models at the Federal Reserve Board," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 43-81, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Atalay, Kadir & Whelan, Stephen & Yates, Judith, 2013. "Housing Wealth and Household Consumption: New Evidence from Australia and Canada," Working Papers 2013-04, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  2. José De Gregorio, 2008. "The Tensions of the World Economy," Economic Policy Papers Central Bank of Chile 27, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Gathergood, John, 2012. "How do consumers respond to house price declines?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 279-281.
  4. Gete, Pedro, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," MPRA Paper 20957, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.
  5. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Ricardo M. Souza, 2011. "Consumption, Wealth, Stock and Housing Returns: Evidence from Emerging Markets," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1159, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Ebner, André, 2013. "A micro view on home equity withdrawal and its determinants: Evidence from Dutch households," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 321-337.
  7. Charles Calomiris & Stanley D. Longhofer & William Miles, 2009. "The (Mythical?) Housing Wealth Effect," NBER Working Papers 15075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christian Aßmann & Jens Boysen-Hogrefe & Nils Jannsen, 2013. "Costs Of Housing Crises: International Evidence," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 299-313, October.
  9. Buiter, Willem H., 2008. "Central banks and financial crises," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 495-633.
  10. R. Calcagno & E. Fornero & M. Rossi, 2009. "The Effect of House Prices on Household Consumption in Italy," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 284-300, October.
  11. Casey B. Mulligan, 2008. "A Depressing Scenario: Mortgage Debt Becomes Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 14514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Juan Contreras & Joseph Nichols, 2009. "Consumption Responses to Permanent and Transitory Shocks to House Appreciation: Working Paper 2009-05," Working Papers 41876, Congressional Budget Office.
  13. Jagannathan, Ravi & Kapoor, Mudit & Schaumburg, Ernst, 2013. "Causes of the great recession of 2007–2009: The financial crisis was the symptom not the disease!," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 4-29.

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