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Home Equity Use and the Life Cycle Hypothesis

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  • Jensen, Helen H.

Abstract

The life cycle hypothesis of consumption assumes the household to take a life-time perspective on all resources available for consumption, and to use the assets accumulated during the life-time to fund later consumption. Typically, households in the middle, high earning years, are able to save; younger and older households borrow or dissave. For many, a large share of accumulated household assets reside in home equity. This paper analyzes the propensity to use home equity to fund current consumption using a legit analysis of homeowners. The results support earlier criticism of the life cycle hypothesis in finding that older households do not rely on dissaving from assets. Older homeowners are less likely to use home equity to fund current consumption than others. Both sociodemographic determinants of life cycle changes as well as income variables are significant determinants of willingness to use home equity. Liquidity considerations appear to be less important.

Suggested Citation

  • Jensen, Helen H., 1985. "Home Equity Use and the Life Cycle Hypothesis," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11234, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:11234
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    Cited by:

    1. Hyrum Smith & Michael Finke & Sandra Huston, 2012. "Financial Sophistication and Housing Leverage Among Older Households," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 315-327, September.
    2. Lucia Dunn & Shubhasis Dey, 2004. "An Empirical Investigation of Collateral and Sorting in the HELOC Market," Working Papers 04-07, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Shubhasis Dey, 2005. "Lines of Credit and Consumption Smoothing: The Choice between Credit Cards and Home Equity Lines of Credit," Staff Working Papers 05-18, Bank of Canada.
    4. E. Pastrapa & C. Apostolopoulos, 2015. "Estimating Determinants of Borrowing: Evidence from Greece," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 210-223, June.

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