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Are Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Borrowers Borrowing Constrained?

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  • Kathleen W. Johnson
  • Geng Li

Abstract

type="main"> Past research argues that changes in adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) payments may lead households to cut back on consumption. These outcomes are more likely if ARM borrowers are borrowing constrained, and we show in this article that ARM borrowers exhibit attitudes toward borrowing and behavior that are consistent with being borrowing constrained. Although the demographic and financial characteristics of ARM and fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) borrowers are somewhat similar, ARM borrowers differ from FRM borrowers in their uses of credit and attitudes toward it. In addition, we find the consumption growth of households with an ARM is more sensitive to past income than the consumption growth of other households, suggesting the ARM borrowers may be subject to borrowing constraints that hinder their ability to smooth consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathleen W. Johnson & Geng Li, 2014. "Are Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Borrowers Borrowing Constrained?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-471, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:42:y:2014:i:2:p:457-471
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    1. Yuliya Demyanyk & Otto Van Hemert, 2011. "Understanding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1848-1880.
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    5. Brahima Coulibaly & Geng Li, 2009. "Choice of Mortgage Contracts: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 659-673.
    6. Posey, Lisa L. & Yavas, Abdullah, 2001. "Adjustable and Fixed Rate Mortgages as a Screening Mechanism for Default Risk," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 54-79, January.
    7. John Y. Campbell & João F. Cocco, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1449-1494.
    8. Brueckner, Jan K & Follain, James R, 1988. "The Rise and Fall of the ARM: An Econometric Analysis of Mortgage Choice," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 93-102, February.
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    10. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Bucks, Brian & Pence, Karen, 2008. "Do borrowers know their mortgage terms?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 218-233, September.
    12. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Goette, Lorenz & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Just the facts: An initial analysis of subprime's role in the housing crisis," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 291-305, December.
    13. Kathleen W. Johnson & Geng Li, 2010. "The Debt-Payment-to-Income Ratio as an Indicator of Borrowing Constraints: Evidence from Two Household Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(7), pages 1373-1390, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campbell, John Y. & Ramadorai, Tarun & Ranish, Benjamin Michael, 2012. "How Do Regulators Influence Mortgage Risk: Evidence from an Emerging Market," Scholarly Articles 12168178, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Dietsch, Michel & Petey, Joël, 2015. "The credit-risk implications of home ownership promotion: The effects of public subsidies and adjustable-rate loans," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 103-120.
    3. repec:spt:apfiba:v:8:y:2018:i:3:f:8_3_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:34331451 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Brown, Martin & Guin, Benjamin, 2015. "The Exposure of Mortgage Borrowers to Interest Rate Risk, Income Risk and House Price Risk – Evidence from Swiss Loan Application Data," Working Papers on Finance 1509, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    6. Martin Brown & Benjamin Suman Guin, 2015. "The Exposure of Mortgage Borrowers to Interest Rate Risk and House Price Risk – Evidence from Swiss Loan Application Data," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 151(II), pages 3-37, June.
    7. Elul, Ronel & Tilson, Sebastian, 2015. "Owner occupancy fraud and mortgage performance," Working Papers 15-45, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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