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Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment

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  • Kyle F. Herkenhoff
  • Lee E. Ohanian

Abstract

Through a purely positive lens, we study and document the growing trend of mortgagors who skip mortgage payments as an extra source of "informal" unemployment insurance during the 2007 recession and the subsequent recovery. In a dynamic model, we capture this behavior by treating both delinquency and foreclosure not as one period events, but rather as protracted and potentially reversible episodes that influence job search behavior and wage acceptance decisions. With a relatively conservative parameterization, we find that the observed foreclosure delays increase the unemployment rate by an additional 1/3%-1/2% and increase the stock of delinquent loans by 8%-12%. When interpreted as an implicit line of credit, those that use their mortgage as ?informal" unemployment insurance borrow at a real rate of at least 18%.>

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2012. "Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment," Working Papers 2012-017, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2012-017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Niu, Yi & Ding, Chengri, 2015. "Unemployment matters: Improved measures of labor market distress in mortgage default analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 27-38.
    2. Kyle Herkenhoff, 2016. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings and Entrepreneurship," 2016 Meeting Papers 781, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Yan Ji, 2017. "Job Search under Debt: Aggregate Implications of Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 222, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Kartik Athreya & Juan M. Sánchez & Xuan S. Tam & Eric R. Young, 2018. "Bankruptcy And Delinquency In A Model Of Unsecured Debt," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(2), pages 593-623, May.
    5. Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2015. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Constraints on Earnings, Sorting, and Job Finding Rates of Displaced Workers," 2015 Meeting Papers 375, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Steven Laufer, 2018. "Equity Extraction and Mortgage Default," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 1-33, April.
    7. Natalia Kovrijnykh & Igor Livshits, 2017. "Screening As A Unified Theory Of Delinquency, Renegotiation, And Bankruptcy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 499-527, May.
    8. Bulent Guler, 2015. "Innovations in Information Technology and the Mortgage Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 456-483, July.
    9. Kristopher Gerardi & Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 1098-1131.
    10. Dean Corbae & Erwan Quintin, 2015. "Leverage and the Foreclosure Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(1), pages 1-65.
    11. Marcus Hagedorn & Fatih Karahan & Iourii Manovskii & Kurt Mitman, 2013. "Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment in the Great Recession: The Role of Macro Effects," NBER Working Papers 19499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Aaron Hedlund, 2018. "Credit Constraints, House Prices, and the Impact of Life Cycle Dynamics," Working Papers 1807, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    13. Roch, Francisco & Uhlig, Harald, 2018. "The dynamics of sovereign debt crises and bailouts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-13.
    14. Brown, Jennifer & Matsa, David A., 2020. "Locked in by leverage: Job search during the housing crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(3), pages 623-648.
    15. Gelman, Michael & Kariv, Shachar & Shapiro, Matthew D. & Silverman, Dan & Tadelis, Steven, 2020. "How individuals respond to a liquidity shock: Evidence from the 2013 government shutdown," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    16. Burcu Eyigungor, 2016. "Housing's Role in the Slow Recovery," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, vol. 1(2), pages 1-6, April.
    17. Aaron Hedlund, 2018. "Down Payments and the Homeownership Dream: Not Such a Barrier After All?," Working Papers 1806, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    18. Lukasz A. Drozd & Ricardo Serrano-Padial, 2017. "Credit Enforcement Cycles," Working Papers 17-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 21 Aug 2017.
    19. Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Recent Marginal Labor Income Tax Rate Changes by Skill and Marital Status," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 69-100.
    20. Marcus Hagedorn & Fatih Karahan & Iourii Manovskii & Kurt Mitman, 2013. "Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment in the Great Recession: The Role of Equilibrium Effects," Staff Reports 646, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    21. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2016. "Foreclosure Delay and the U.S. Labor Market," Economic Policy Paper 16-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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    Keywords

    Foreclosure; Unemployment;

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