Using home maintenance and repairs to smooth variable earnings
Recent research indicates that the marked increase in U.S. income inequality over the last twenty-five years has not been matched by a similar increase in consumption inequality. This paper examines the role of saving/dissaving in a house as a vehicle for consumption smoothing. Data from the American Housing Survey show that expenditures on home maintenance and repairs are economically significant, amounting to roughly $1,750 per household each year. This figure is comparable to the labor literature estimates that put households' average annual transitory income variance at about $2,200. Our calculations show a significant elasticity of maintenance and repair expenditures to transitory income shocks. The elasticities are higher for less well educated households, which are more likely to be liquidity constrained than their better educated counterparts.
|Date of creation:||2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.newyorkfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.ny.frb.org/rmaghome/staff_rp/ Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
- Joseph Tracy & Henry Schneider & Sewin Chan, 1999. "Are stocks overtaking real estate in household portfolios?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Apr).
- Susan Dynarski & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Can Families Smooth Variable Earnings?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 229-303.
- Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2002.
"Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory,"
NBER Working Papers
9202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2005. "Does income inequality lead to consumption equality? evidence and theory," Staff Report 363, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Dirk Kreuger & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory," Working Papers 02-15, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2005. "Does income inequality lead to consumption inequality? Evidence and theory," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995.
"Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
1995-02, McMaster University.
- John R. Knight & Thomas Miceli & C. F. Sirmans, 2000. "Repair Expenses, Selling Contracts, and House Prices," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 20(3), pages 323-336.
- Bennett, Paul & Peach, Richard & Peristiani, Stavros, 2001.
"Structural Change in the Mortgage Market and the Propensity to Refinance,"
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 955-75, November.
- Paul Bennett & Richard Peach & Stavros Peristiani, 1997. "Structural change in the mortgage market and the propensity to refinance," Research Paper 9736, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Paul Bennett & Richard Peach & Stavros Peristiani, 1998. "Structural change in the mortgage market and the propensity to refinance," Staff Reports 45, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1986.
"Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) PanelData,"
NBER Working Papers
2012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Altonji, Joseph G & Siow, Aloysius, 1987. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 293-328, May.
- MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
- John Bound & Alan B. Krueger, 1989.
"The Extent of Measurement Error In Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make A Right?,"
NBER Working Papers
2885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
- Hurst, Erik & Stafford, Frank, 2004. "Home Is Where the Equity Is: Mortgage Refinancing and Household Consumption," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 985-1014, December.
- Nelson, Forrest & Olson, Lawrence, 1978. "Specification and Estimation of a Simultaneous-Equation Model with Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(3), pages 695-709, October.
- Goetzmann, W.N. & Spiegel, M., 1992.
"Non-temporal Components of Residential Real Estate Appreciation,"
92-20, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
- Goetzmann, William N & Spiegel, Matthew, 1995. "Non-temporal Components of Residential Real Estate Appreciation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 199-206, February.
- Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989.
"On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
- John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
- Mendelsohn, Robert, 1977. "Empirical evidence on home improvements," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 459-468, October.
- Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S111-43, June.
- Thomas P. Boehm & Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 1986. "The Improvement Expenditures of Urban Homeowners: An Empirical Analysis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 14(1), pages 48-60.
- Reschovsky, James D, 1992. "An Empirical Investigation into Homeowner Demand for Home Upkeep and Improvement," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 55-71, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:168. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Farber)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.