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House Prices Drive Current Accounts: Evidence from Property Tax Variations

Listed author(s):
  • Geerolf, François
  • Grjebine, Thomas

We study the causal link between house prices and current accounts. Across time and countries, we find a very large and significant impact of house prices on current accounts. In order to rule out endogeneity concerns, we instrument house prices for a panel of countries, using property tax variations. A 10% instrumented appreciation in house prices leads to a deterioration in the current account of 1.7% of GDP. These results are very robust to the inclusion of the determinants of current accounts. Following a house price increase, private savings decrease, through wealth effects rather than consumer-finance based mechanisms, while non-residential investment rises through a relaxation of financing constraints for firms.

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File URL: http://www.cepremap.fr/depot/docweb/docweb1315.pdf
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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 1315.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1315
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  1. Klaus Adam & Pei Kuang & Albert Marcet, 2012. "House Price Booms and the Current Account," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 77-122.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Angeletos, George-Marios & Banerjee, Abhijit & Manova, Kalina, 2010. "Volatility and growth: Credit constraints and the composition of investment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 246-265, April.
  3. Emmanuel Farhi & Jean Tirole, 2012. "Bubbly Liquidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 678-706.
  4. David Laibson & Johanna Mollerstrom, 2010. "Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 354-374, 05.
  5. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S. & Ravn, M., 1997. "On Adjusting the H-P Filter for the Frequency of Observations," Discussion Paper 1997-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. University of Chicago & Pedro Gete, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," 2009 Meeting Papers 427, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Fratzscher, Marcel & Juvenal, Luciana & Sarno, Lucio, 2010. "Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 643-658, July.
  8. Jack Favilukis & David Kohn & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2012. "International Capital Flows and House Prices: Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 235-299 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Asset Bubbles and Overlapping Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1499-1528, November.
  10. Gete, Pedro, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," MPRA Paper 20957, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.
  11. Fratzscher, Marcel & Straub, Roland, 2010. "Asset Prices, News Shocks and the Current Account," CEPR Discussion Papers 8080, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Andrea Ferrero, 2015. "House Price Booms, Current Account Deficits, and Low Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(S1), pages 261-293, 03.
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