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Debt Portfolios and Homestead Exemptions

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  • Thomas Hintermaier
  • Winfried Koeniger

Abstract

This paper investigates the economic relevance of the large differences in homestead exemptions across US states. We build a structural model for an equilibrium analysis of debt-portfolio choices over the life cycle. Our analysis captures key patterns from the observed cross-sectional distributions of secured debt, unsecured debt, and of home equity. The model predicts that harmonizing the amount of home equity exempt in bankruptcy procedures has quantitatively negligible effects on the interest rate of unsecured debt and on welfare, unless the exemption is eliminated. The small welfare effect may rationalize why the differences in homestead exemptions are so persistent.

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  • Thomas Hintermaier & Winfried Koeniger, 2016. "Debt Portfolios and Homestead Exemptions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 103-141, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:103-41
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20120151
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    Cited by:

    1. Mankart, Jochen, 2014. "The (Un-) importance of Chapter 7 wealth exemption levels," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-16.
    2. Pham-Dao, Lien, 2016. "Public Insurance and Wealth Inequality - A Euro Area Analysis," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145942, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Kurt Mitman, 2016. "Macroeconomic Effects of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2219-2255, August.
    4. Johannes Fleck & Chima Simpson-Bell, 2019. "Public Insurance in Heterogeneous Fiscal Federations: Evidence from American Households," 2019 Meeting Papers 296, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Pattison, Nathaniel & Millimet, Daniel L., 2023. "A Tale of Two Bankruptcies: Geographic Differences in Bankruptcy Chapter Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 16105, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Aaron Hedlund, 2014. "Illiquidity and its Discontents: Trading Delays and Foreclosures in the Housing Market," Working Papers 1417, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    7. Wenli Li & Costas Meghir & Florian Oswald, 2022. "Consumer Bankruptcy, Mortgage Default and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 29868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pattison, Nathaniel, 2020. "Consumption smoothing and debtor protections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    9. Maite Blázquez & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2020. "Financial insecurity and subjective well-being. Europe in crossnational perspective," ThE Papers 20/07, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    10. Mankart, Jochen & Rodano, Giacomo, 2015. "Personal bankruptcy law, debt portfolios, and entrepreneurship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 157-172.
    11. Patrick Bajari & Phoebe Chan & Dirk Krueger & Daniel Miller, 2013. "A Dynamic Model Of Housing Demand: Estimation And Policy Implications," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(2), pages 409-442, May.
    12. Sá, Ana Isabel, 2020. "To change or not to change: the impact of the law on mortgage origination," MPRA Paper 104818, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Solomon, Bernard Daniel, 2010. "Firm leverage, household leverage and the business cycle," MPRA Paper 26504, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Sá, Ana Isabel, 2023. "Recourse restrictions and judicial foreclosures: Effects of mortgage law on loan price and collateralization," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    15. Aaron Hedlund, 2014. "The Cyclical Dynamics of Illiquid Housing, Debt, and Foreclosures," Working Papers 1416, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    16. Igor Livshits & James C. Mac Gee & Michèle Tertilt, 2016. "The Democratization of Credit and the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1673-1710.
    17. Christian Loenser & Joost Röttger & Andreas Schabert, 2022. "Financial Regulation, Interest Rate Responses, and Distributive Effects," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 143, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    18. Aloisio Araujo & J. Mauricio Villalba, 2022. "Equilibrium efficiency with secured and unsecured assets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 73(4), pages 1025-1049, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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