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Phasing out the GSEs

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  • Elenev, Vadim
  • Landvoigt, Tim
  • Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn

Abstract

We develop a new model of the mortgage market that emphasizes the role of the financial sector and the government. Risk tolerant savers act as intermediaries between risk averse depositors and impatient borrowers. Both borrowers and intermediaries can default. The government provides both mortgage guarantees and deposit insurance. Underpriced government mortgage guarantees lead to more and riskier mortgage originations and higher financial sector leverage. Mortgage crises occasionally turn into financial crises and government bailouts due to the fragility of the intermediaries’ balance sheets. Foreclosure crises beget fiscal uncertainty, further disrupting the optimal allocation of risk in the economy. Increasing the price of the mortgage guarantee “crowds in” the private sector, reduces financial fragility, leads to fewer but safer mortgages, lowers house prices, and raises mortgage and risk-free interest rates. Due to a more robust financial sector and less fiscal uncertainty, consumption smoothing improves and foreclosure rates fall. While borrowers are nearly indifferent to a world with or without mortgage guarantees, savers are substantially better off. While aggregate welfare increases, so does wealth inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Elenev, Vadim & Landvoigt, Tim & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2016. "Phasing out the GSEs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 111-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:81:y:2016:i:c:p:111-132
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2016.06.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial intermediation; Housing policy; Government bailouts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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