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

  • Søren 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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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.100.3.1080
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/june2010/20041006_data.zip
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/june2010/20041006_app.pdf
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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. John Campbell & Joao Cocco, 2004. "How Do House Prices Affect Consumption? Evidence from Micro Data," 2004 Meeting Papers 357a, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. 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.
    3. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "The Reaction of Consumer Spending and Debt to Tax Rebates-Evidence from Consumer Credit Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 986-1019, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
    9. Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2006. "Using Home Maintenance and Repairs to Smooth Variable Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 736-747, November.
    10. 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.
    11. Orazio P. Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 2002. "Asset Holding and Consumption Volatility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 771-792, August.
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