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House Price Booms and the Current Account

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  • Klaus Adam
  • Pei Kuang
  • Albert Marcet

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Adam & Pei Kuang & Albert Marcet, 2011. "House Price Booms and the Current Account," CEP Discussion Papers dp1064, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1064
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    interest rates; house prices; short-term capital movements;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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