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Intertemporal Consumption and Credit Constraints: Does Total Expenditure Respond to an Exogenous Shock to Credit?

  • S�ren Leth-Petersen
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    There is continuing controversy over the importance of credit constraints. This paper investigates whether total household expenditure and debt is affected by an exogenous increase in access to credit provided by a credit market reform that enabled Danish house owners to use housing equity as collateral for consumption loans. We find that the magnitude of the response is correlated with the amount of equity released by the reform and that the effect is strongest for younger households. Even for this group, the response was moderate. The aggregate effect of the reform was significant but small. (JEL D14, D91, E21)

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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 1080-1103

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:3:p:1080-1103
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.3.1080
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    1. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2001. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," NBER Working Papers 8314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Campbell & Joao Cocco, 2004. "How Do House Prices Affect Consumption? Evidence from Micro Data," 2004 Meeting Papers 357a, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas Souleles, 2007. "The reaction of consumer spending and debt to tax rebates; evidence from consumer credit data," Working Papers 07-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. Alessie, Rob & Devereux, Michael P. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1997. "Intertemporal consumption, durables and liquidity constraints: A cohort analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 37-59, January.
    5. Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2003. "Using home maintenance and repairs to smooth variable earnings," Staff Reports 168, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1797-1855, December.
    7. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
    8. Carroll, Christopher D, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55, February.
    9. Alessie, Rob & Hochguertel, Stefan & Weber, Guglielmo, 2001. "Consumer Credit: Evidence from Italian Micro Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 3071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Martin Browning & S¯ren Leth-Petersen, 2003. "Imputing consumption from income and wealth information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages F282-F301, 06.
    11. Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 1998. "Asset holding and consumption volatility," IFS Working Papers W98/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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