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Housing Wealth and Household Indebtedness: Is there a Household 'Financial Accelerator'?

  • Richard Disney
  • Sarah Bridges
  • John Gathergood

The 'financial accelerator' model when applied to households states that shocks to household balance sheets (primarily changes in house prices) amplify fluctuations in consumer spending by tightening or relaxing collateral constraints on borrowing. We construct an alternative model where households also have access to unsecured debt, and examine the effect of shocks to house prices on debt-financed consumption in this augmented setting. Our alternative model reduces the amplitude of fluctuations in debt-financed consumer spending arising from fluctuations in household asset values. The paper tests the applicability of the two models using panel data for the United Kingdom that allow us to measure collateral constraints, changes in asset values and financial indebtedness at the household level.

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Paper provided by Czech National Bank, Research Department in its series Working Papers with number 2006/12.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cnb:wpaper:2006/12
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  1. Matteo Iacoviello, 2004. "Consumption, House Prices and Collateral Constraints: a Structural Econometric Analysis," 2004 Meeting Papers 201, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  4. Aoki, Kosuke & James Proudman & Gertjan Vlieghe, 2003. "House prices, consumption, and monetary policy: a financial accelerator approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 7, Royal Economic Society.
  5. Sarah Bridges & Richard Disney, 2004. "Use of credit and arrears on debt among low-income families in the United Kingdom," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(1), pages 1-25, March.
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  9. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
  10. Calza, Alessandro & Monacelli, Tommaso & Stracca, Livio, 2006. "Mortgage markets, collateral constraints, and monetary policy: Do institutional factors matter?," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/10, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. François Ortalo-Magné & Sven Rady, 2002. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 02-01, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
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  16. Pedro Silos, 2005. "Housing, portfolio choice, and the macroeconomy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2005-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  17. Tullio Jappelli, 1990. "Who is Credit Constrained in the U. S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-234.
  18. Orazio Attanasio & Laura Blow & Robert Hamilton & Andrew Leicester, 2005. "Consumption, house prices and expectations," Bank of England working papers 271, Bank of England.
  19. Disney, Richard & Andrew Henley & David Jevons, 2002. "House Price Shocks, Negative Equity and Household Consumption in the UK in the 1990s," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 64, Royal Economic Society.
  20. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
  21. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
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  23. James Banks & Richard Blundell & James P. Smith, 2001. "Financial Wealth Inequality in the United States and Great Britain," Working Papers 01-01, RAND Corporation.
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