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Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Atif Mian

    (University of California, Berkeley and NBER (email: atif@haas.berkeley.edu))

  • Amir Sufi

    (University of Chicago Booth School of Business and NBER (email: amir.sufi@chicagobooth.edu))

  • Francesco Trebbi

    (University of British Columbia, CIFAR, and NBER (email: ftrebbi@interchange.ubc.ca))

Abstract

A central idea in macroeconomic theory is that negative price effects from the leverage-induced forced sale of durable goods can amplify negative shocks and reduce economic activity. We examine this idea by estimating the effect of U.S. foreclosures in 2008 and 2009 on house prices, residential investment, and durable consumption. We show that states that require judicial process for a foreclosure sale have significantly lower rates of foreclosures relative to states that have no such requirement. Using state laws requiring a judicial foreclosure as an instrument for actual foreclosures, as well as a regression discontinuity design around state borders with differing foreclosure laws, we show that foreclosures have a large negative impact on house prices. Foreclosures also lead to a significant decline in residential investment and durable consumption. The magnitudes of the effects are large, suggesting that foreclosures have been an important factor in weak house price, residential investment, and durable consumption patterns during and after the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Francesco Trebbi, 2011. "Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy," IMES Discussion Paper Series 11-E-27, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imedps:11-e-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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