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House Price Booms and the Current Account

  • 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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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1064.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1064
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Sergio Rebelo & Martin Eichenbaum & Craig Burnside, 2012. "Understanding Booms and Busts in Housing Markets," 2012 Meeting Papers 114, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. 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.
  4. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2008. "Current account patterns and national real estate markets," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1rh4s127, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  5. 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.
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  7. Joseph Gyourko & Eduardo Morales & Charles Nathanson & Edward Glaeser, 2011. "Housing Dynamics," 2011 Meeting Papers 307, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. 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.
  9. Glaeser, Edward & Saiz, Albert & Gyourko, Joseph, 2008. "Housing Supply and Housing Bubbles," Scholarly Articles 2962640, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Bray, Margaret M & Savin, Nathan E, 1986. "Rational Expectations Equilibria, Learning, and Model Specification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1129-60, September.
  11. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1990. "Residential investment and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 137-153, February.
  12. University of Chicago & Pedro Gete, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," 2009 Meeting Papers 427, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Laibson, David I. & Mollerstrom, Johanna Britta, 2010. "Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis," Scholarly Articles 4686766, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet & Juan Pablo Nicolini, 2006. "Learning and Stock Market Volatility," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 15, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet, 2011. "Internal Rationality, Imperfect Market Knowledge and Asset Prices," CEP Discussion Papers dp1068, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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