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House Price Booms and the Current Account

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2011, Volume 26

  • Klaus Adam
  • Pei Kuang
  • Albert Marcet

A simple open economy asset pricing model can account for the house price and current account dynamics in the G7 over the years 2001-2008. The model features rational households, but assumes that households entertain subjective beliefs about price behavior and update these using Bayes' rule. The resulting beliefs dynamics considerably propagate economic shocks and crucially contribute to replicating the empirical evidence. Belief dynamics can temporarily delink house prices from fundamentals, so that low interest rates can fuel a house price boom. House price booms, however, are not necessarily synchronized across countries and the model correctly predicts the heterogeneous response of house prices across the G7, following the fall in real interest rates at the beginning of the millennium. The response to interest rates depends sensitively on agents' beliefs at the time of the interest rate reduction, which are a function of the prior history of disturbances hitting the economy. According to the model, the US house price boom could have been largely avoided, if real interest rates had decreased by less after the year 2000.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Daron Acemoglu & Michael Woodford, 2012. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2011, Volume 26," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number acem11-1.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12408.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12408
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. David Laibson & Johanna Mollerstrom, 2010. "Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 15759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
    3. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "Current Account Patterns and National Real Estate Markets," NBER Working Papers 13921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bray, Margaret M & Savin, Nathan E, 1986. "Rational Expectations Equilibria, Learning, and Model Specification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1129-60, September.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Albert Saiz, 2008. "Housing Supply and Housing Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 14193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "The Mathematical Appendix to Residential Investment and the Current Account," Discussion Papers 875, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    7. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet, 2010. "Booms and Busts in Asset Prices," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-02, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    8. Gete, Pedro, 2015. "Housing markets and current account dynamics," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 221, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    9. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet, 2011. "Internal Rationality, Imperfect Market Knowledge and Asset Prices," CEP Discussion Papers dp1068, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1990. "Residential investment and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 137-153, February.
    11. Hanno N. Lustig & Stijn G. Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "Housing Collateral, Consumption Insurance, and Risk Premia: An Empirical Perspective," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1167-1219, 06.
    12. Joseph Gyourko & Eduardo Morales & Charles Nathanson & Edward Glaeser, 2011. "Housing Dynamics," 2011 Meeting Papers 307, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2012. "Understanding booms and busts in housing markets," CQER Working Paper 2012-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    14. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet & Juan Pablo Nicolini, 2006. "Learning and Stock Market Volatility," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 15, Society for Computational Economics.
    15. Matteo Iacoviello, 2005. "House Prices, Borrowing Constraints, and Monetary Policy in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 739-764, June.
    16. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2009. "Momentum traders in the housing market: survey evidence and a search model," NBER Working Papers 14669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Topel, Robert H & Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "Housing Investment in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 718-40, August.
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