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Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy

  • 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))

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.

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File URL: http://www.imes.boj.or.jp/research/papers/english/11-E-27.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan in its series IMES Discussion Paper Series with number 11-E-27.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ime:imedps:11-e-27
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Stefano Giglio & Parag Pathak, 2011. "Forced Sales and House Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2108-31, August.
  2. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, . "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 323, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Scholarly Articles 27692663, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Guido Lorenzoni, 2008. "Inefficient Credit Booms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 809-833.
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  6. Patrick Bajari & Chenghuan Sean Chu & Minjung Park, 2008. "An Empirical Model of Subprime Mortgage Default From 2000 to 2007," NBER Working Papers 14625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Guerrieri, Veronica & Hartley, Daniel & Hurst, Erik, 2013. "Endogenous gentrification and housing price dynamics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 45-60.
  9. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2012. "The Effects of Fiscal Stimulus: Evidence from the 2009 Cash for Clunkers Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1107-1142.
  10. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496.
  11. Daniel Hartley, 2011. "The effect of foreclosures on nearby housing prices: supply or disamenity?," Working Paper 1011, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 01 Sep 2014.
  12. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, . "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 322, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  13. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Francesco Trebbi, 2010. "The Political Economy of the US Mortgage Default Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1967-98, December.
  14. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2005. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1121-1154.
  15. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias Moskowitz, 2004. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," NBER Working Papers 11004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2003. "Collateral constraints and the amplification mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 277-292, August.
  19. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: Theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 234-245, September.
  20. Karen M. Pence, 2006. "Foreclosing on Opportunity: State Laws and Mortgage Credit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 177-182, February.
  21. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
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