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Household debt and labor market fluctuations

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  • Andrés, Javier
  • Boscá, José E.
  • Ferri, Javier

Abstract

The co-movements of labor productivity with output, total hours, vacancies and unemployment have changed since the mid 1980s. This paper offers an explanation for the sharp break in the fluctuations of labor market variables based on endogenous labor supply decisions following the mortgage market deregulation. We set up a search model with efficient bargaining and financial frictions, in which impatient borrowers can take an amount of credit that cannot exceed a proportion of the expected value of their real estate holdings. When borrowers' equity requirements are low, the impact of a positive technology shock on the marginal utility of consumption is strengthened, which in turn results in lower hours per worker and higher wages in the bargaining process. This shift in labor supply discourages firms from opening vacancies, reducing the impact of the shock on employment. We simulate the effects of an increase in both the loan-to-value ratio and the share of borrowers in total population. Our exercise shows that the response of labor market variables might have been substantially affected by the increase in household leverage in the US in the last twenty years.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés, Javier & Boscá, José E. & Ferri, Javier, 2013. "Household debt and labor market fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1771-1795.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:37:y:2013:i:9:p:1771-1795
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2013.03.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gadatsch, Niklas & Stähler, Nikolai & Weigert, Benjamin, 2016. "German labor market and fiscal reforms 1999–2008: Can they be blamed for intra-euro area imbalances?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 307-324.
    2. Javier Andrés & José Emilio Boscá & Javier Ferri, 2011. "Household Leverage and Fiscal Multipliers," Working Papers 1103, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia.
    3. Sterk, Vincent, 2015. "Home equity, mobility, and macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 16-32.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    E24; E32; E44; Business cycle; Labor market; Borrowing restrictions;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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