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Regressive Welfare Effects of Housing Bubbles

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  • Andrew Graczyk
  • Toan Phan

Abstract

We analyze the welfare effects of asset bubbles in a model with income inequality and financial friction. We show that a bubble that emerges in the value of housing, a durable asset that is fundamentally useful for everyone, has regressive welfare effects. By raising the housing price, the bubble benefits high-income savers but negatively affects low-income borrowers. The key intuition is that, by creating a bubble in the market price, savers' demand for the housing asset for investment purposes imposes a negative externality on borrowers, who only demand the housing asset for utility purposes. The model also implies a feedback loop: high income inequality depresses the interest rates, facilitating the existence of housing bubbles, which in turn have regressive welfare effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Graczyk & Toan Phan, 2018. "Regressive Welfare Effects of Housing Bubbles," Working Paper 18-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:18-10
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    Cited by:

    1. Siddhartha Biswas & Andrew Hanson & Toan Phan, 2020. "Bubbly Recessions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 33-70, October.
    2. Lise Clain-Chamosset-Yvrard & Xavier Raurich & Thomas Seegmuller, 2021. "Entrepreneurship, growth and productivity with bubbles," AMSE Working Papers 2106, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    3. Floro, Danvee, 2019. "Testing the predictive ability of house price bubbles for macroeconomic performance: A meta-analytic approach," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 164-181.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    rational bubbles; inequality; housing; financial frictions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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