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The Contagion Effect of Neighboring Foreclosures

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  • Charles Towe
  • Chad Lawley

Abstract

We examine the contagion effect of residential foreclosures and find strong evidence of a social interactions influence on default decisions where the interaction is based on neighbors? behavior in a previous period. Using a unique spatially explicit parcel-level dataset documenting residential foreclosures in Maryland for the years 2006-2009 and a highly localized neighborhood definition, based on 13 nearest neighbors, we find that a neighbor in foreclosure increases the hazard of additional defaults by 18 percent. This feedback effect goes beyond a temporary reduction in local house prices and implies a negative social multiplier effect of foreclosures. (JEL R23, R31)

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Towe & Chad Lawley, 2013. "The Contagion Effect of Neighboring Foreclosures," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 313-335, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:313-35
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.2.313
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Niu, Yi & Ding, Chengri, 2015. "Unemployment matters: Improved measures of labor market distress in mortgage default analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 27-38.
    2. Gregory B. Fairchild & Young Kim & Megan E. Juelfs & Aron Betru, 2020. "Good Money After Bad? The Comparative Efficiency Of Minority Depository Institutions," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 25(01), pages 1-24, March.
    3. Andréas Heinen & James B. Kau & Donald C. Keenan & Mi Lim Kim, 2021. "Spatial Dependence in Subprime Mortgage Defaults," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Jeremy Burke & Kata Mihaly, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Social Perception and Strategic Default," Working Papers WR-937, RAND Corporation.
    5. Alm, James & Hawley, Zackary & Lee, Jin Man & Miller, Joshua J., 2016. "Property tax delinquency and its spillover effects on nearby properties," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 71-77.
    6. Calabrese, Raffaella & Crook, Jonathan, 2020. "Spatial contagion in mortgage defaults: A spatial dynamic survival model with time and space varying coefficients," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 287(2), pages 749-761.
    7. Justin Sirignano & Apaar Sadhwani & Kay Giesecke, 2016. "Deep Learning for Mortgage Risk," Papers 1607.02470, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2018.
    8. Justin Sirignano & Kay Giesecke, 2019. "Risk Analysis for Large Pools of Loans," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(1), pages 107-121, January.
    9. Gerardi, Kristopher & Rosenblatt, Eric & Willen, Paul S. & Yao, Vincent, 2015. "Foreclosure externalities: New evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 42-56.
    10. Christa Brelsford & Caterina Bacco, 2018. "Are ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ Contagious? An Epidemic Approach on Networks to Study Peer Effects," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 577-613, September.
    11. Foote, Andrew, 2016. "The effects of negative house price changes on migration: Evidence across U.S. housing downturns," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 292-299.
    12. Brown, Martin & Schmitz, Jan & Zehnder, Christian, 2016. "Social Norms and Strategic Default," Working Papers on Finance 1608, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Jun 2017.
    13. Alm, James & Leguizamon, J. Sebastian, 2018. "The housing crisis, foreclosures, and local tax revenues," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 300-311.
    14. William M. Doerner & Andrew V. Leventis, 2013. "Distressed Sales and the FHFA House Price Index," FHFA Staff Working Papers 13-01, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    15. Gabriel S. Sampson & Edward D. Perry, 2019. "Peer effects in the diffusion of water‐saving agricultural technologies," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 50(6), pages 693-706, November.
    16. Gerardo Pérez‐Cavazos, 2019. "Consequences of Debt Forgiveness: Strategic Default Contagion and Lender Learning," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 797-841, June.
    17. Weiran Huang & Ashlyn Nelson & Stephen L. Ross, 2018. "Foreclosure Spillovers within Broad Neighborhoods," Working papers 2018-23, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    18. Christa Brelsford & Caterina De Bacco, 2018. "Are `Water Smart Landscapes' Contagious? An epidemic approach on networks to study peer effects," Papers 1801.10516, arXiv.org.
    19. Goodstein, Ryan & Hanouna, Paul & Ramirez, Carlos D. & Stahel, Christof W., 2017. "Contagion effects in strategic mortgage defaults," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 50-60.
    20. Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Kiefer, Hua & Liu, Xiaodong, 2018. "Spillover effects in home mortgage defaults: Identifying the power neighbor," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 68-82.
    21. Rana, Ghulam Awais & Shea, Paul, 2015. "Estimating the causal relationship between foreclosures and unemployment during the great recession," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 90-93.
    22. Kenneth Gillingham & Bryan Bollinger, 2020. "Social Learning and Solar Photovoltaic Adoption," CESifo Working Paper Series 8434, CESifo.
    23. Ma, Ben & Yu, Yihua & Urban, Frauke, 2018. "Green transition of energy systems in rural China: National survey evidence of households’ discrete choices on water heaters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 559-570.
    24. Jeffrey P. Cohen & Cletus C. Coughlin & Vincent W. Yao, 2016. "Sales of Distressed Residential Property: What Have We Learned from Recent Research?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 98(3), pages 159-188.
    25. Sampson, Gabriel & Perry, Edward & Hendricks, Nathan P., 2017. "The Role of Peer Effects in Resource Extraction - The Case of Kansas Groundwater," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258286, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • 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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    1. The Contagion Effect of Neighboring Foreclosures (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2013) in ReplicationWiki

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