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Home Equity, Mobility, and Macroeconomic Fluctuations

Listed author(s):
  • Vincent Sterk

How does a fall in house prices affect real activity? This paper presents a business cycle model in which a decline in house prices reduces geographical mobility, creating distortions in the labor market. This happens because homeowners face declines in their home equity levels, after which it becomes more difficult to provide the down-payment required for a new mortgage loan. Unemployed homeowners therefore turn down job offers that would require them to move. The model explains joint cyclical patterns in housing and labor market aggregates, as well as the puzzling breakdown of the U.S. Beveridge curve that occurred during 2009.

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File URL: http://www.dnb.nl/binaries/Working%20paper%20265_tcm46-241519.pdf
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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 265.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:265
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  12. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
  14. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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  19. Rupert, Peter & Wasmer, Etienne, 2012. "Housing and the labor market: Time to move and aggregate unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 24-36.
  20. Matteo Iacoviello & Stefano Neri, 2007. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from an Estimated DSGE Model," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 659, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 23 Oct 2009.
  21. Chan, Sewin, 2001. "Spatial Lock-in: Do Falling House Prices Constrain Residential Mobility?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 567-586, May.
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  24. Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam, 2012. "Negative equity does not reduce homeowners’ mobility," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Feb, pages 1-17.
  25. Henry S. Farber, 2012. "Unemployment in the Great Recession: Did the Housing Market Crisis Prevent the Unemployed from Moving to Take Jobs?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 520-525, May.
  26. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406.
  27. Stokey, Nancy L., 2009. "Moving costs, nondurable consumption and portfolio choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2419-2439, November.
  28. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Zvi Hercowitz, 2006. "Welfare implications of the transition to high household debt," Working Paper Series WP-06-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  29. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Nominal loss aversion, housing equity constraints, and household mobility: evidence from the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 171-195, January.
  30. Christopher F. Goetz, 2013. "Falling House Prices And Labor Mobility: Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Papers 13-43, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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