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Housing, house prices, and the equity premium puzzle

  • Morris A. Davis
  • Robert F. Martin

Many recent papers have claimed that when housing services are treated separately from other forms of consumption in utility, a wide range of economic puzzles such as the equity premium puzzle can be explained. Our paper challenges these claims. The key assumption embedded in this literature is that households are not very willing to substitute housing services for consumption. We show that housing services and consumption must be much more substitutable than has been assumed for a neoclassical consumption model to be consistent with U.S. house price data. Further, when forced to match both historical house prices and stock returns, the lowest risk-free rate the model can generate is 11 percent.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2005-13.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-13
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  1. Raj Chetty & Adam Szeidl, 2004. "Consumption Commitments and Habit Formation," NBER Working Papers 10970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Morris A. Davis & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2004. "Consumption and Saving over the Life Cycle: How Important are Consumer Durables?," 2004 Meeting Papers 357b, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 877R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 1989.
  5. Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2003. "Using home maintenance and repairs to smooth variable earnings," Staff Reports 168, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao, 1995. "Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods," MPRA Paper 13690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. West, Kenneth D., 2002. "Efficient GMM estimation of weak AR processes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 415-418, May.
  8. Alastair R. Hall & Atsushi Inoue, 2005. "The Large Sample Behaviour of the Generalized Method of Moments Estimator in Misspecified Models," Econometrics 0505002, EconWPA.
  9. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2003. "Housing Collateral, Consumption Insurance and Risk Premia: An Empirical Perpective," NBER Working Papers 9959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert F. Martin, 2003. "Consumption, durable goods, and transaction costs," International Finance Discussion Papers 756, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-90, May.
  12. Davis, Morris & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2001. "Housing and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 01-09, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  13. Joseph Gruber & Robert Martin, 2003. "Precautionary savings and the wealth distribution with illiquid durables," International Finance Discussion Papers 773, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Peter Rupert & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1994. "Estimating substitution elasticities in household production models," Staff Report 186, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. George M. Constantinides, 2002. "Rational Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1567-1591, 08.
  16. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2004. "A Theory of Housing Collateral, Consumption Insurance and Risk Premia," NBER Working Papers 10955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Adam Szeidl & Raj Chetty, 2005. "Consumption Commitments: Neoclassical Foundations for Habit Formation," 2005 Meeting Papers 122, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2006. "Housing, Consumption, and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 12036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Fratantoni, Michael C, 2001. "Homeownership, Committed Expenditure Risk, and the Stockholding Puzzle," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 241-59, April.
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