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

  • Søren Leth-Petersen

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, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
  2. Campbell, John Y. & Cocco, Joao F., 2007. "How do house prices affect consumption? Evidence from micro data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 591-621, April.
  3. Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 1998. "Asset holding and consumption volatility," IFS Working Papers W98/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. 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.
  5. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "The Reaction of Consumer Spending and Debt to Tax Rebates -- Evidence from Consumer Credit Data," NBER Working Papers 13694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  7. Rob Alessie & Stefan Hochguertel & Guglielmo Weber, 2005. "Consumer Credit: Evidence From Italian Micro Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 144-178, 03.
  8. Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2003. "Using home maintenance and repairs to smooth variable earnings," Staff Reports 168, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. 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.
  10. Rob Alessie & Michael Devereux & Guglielmo Weber, 1993. "Intertemporal consumption, durables and liquidity constraints: a cohort analysis," IFS Working Papers W93/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
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