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Household debt, house prices and consumption in the United Kingdom: a quantitative theoretical analysis

  • Waldron, Matt

    ()

    (Bank of England)

  • Zampolli, Fabrizio

    ()

    (Bank of England)

Household debt and house prices in the United Kingdom rose substantially between 1987 and 2006. In this paper we use a calibrated overlapping generations model of the household sector to examine the extent to which changes in demographics, lower inflation, and a lower long-run real interest rate may explain the build-up of debt and the rise in house prices over that period. Our model suggests that lower real interest rates were particularly important. If households expected lower real interest rates to persist, then the model can more than explain the rise in debt and can explain most of the rise in house prices. However, the model leaves a puzzle because it predicts that an unanticipated fall in real interest rates should lead to a consumption boom that did not materialise in the data.

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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 379.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 10 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0379
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  1. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don Schlagenhauf, 2007. "Accounting for changes in the homeownership rate," Working Papers 2007-034, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Cubeddu, Luis & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2003. "Families as Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 3924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Queisser, Monika & Whitehouse, Edward, 2005. "Pensions at a glance: public policies across OECD countries," MPRA Paper 10907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Poterba, James M, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-52, November.
  10. Lazear, Edward P & Michael, Robert T, 1980. "Family Size and the Distribution of Real Per Capita Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 91-107, March.
  11. Malpezzi, Stephen & Maclennan, Duncan, 2001. "The Long-Run Price Elasticity of Supply of New Residential Construction in the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 278-306, September.
  12. Fang Yang, 2006. "Consumption along the life cycle: how different is housing?," Working Papers 635, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Alexander Michaelides & Kalin Nikolov, 2010. "Winners and Losers in House Markets," Working Papers 2010-5, Central Bank of Cyprus.
  14. Martin Gervais, 1998. "Housing Taxation and Capital Accumulation," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9807, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  15. Černý, Aleš & Miles, David & Schmidt, L'Ubomír, 2010. "The impact of changing demographics and pensions on the demand for housing and financial assets," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 393-420, July.
  16. Merxe Tudela & Garry Young, 2005. "The determinants of household debt and balance sheets in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 266, Bank of England.
  17. Sebastian Barnes & Gregory Thwaites, 2005. "'Real-world' mortgages, consumption volatility and the low inflation environment," Bank of England working papers 273, Bank of England.
  18. King, Mervyn, 1994. "Debt deflation: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 419-445, April.
  19. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1994. "The UK Consumption Boom of the Late 1980s: Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1269-1302, November.
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