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Do House Prices Affect Consumption? A Re-assessment of the Wealth Hypothesis

Author

Listed:
  • Cristini, Annalisa

    () (University of Bergamo)

  • Sevilla, Almudena

    () (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper undertakes a comparison exercise to disentangle what drives the opposite findings regarding the effect of house prices on consumption documented in two papers using the same data set for the UK. On the one hand, Campbell and Cocco (2007) find that old owners are the most benefited by a house price increase and young renters the least, confirming the so-called wealth hypothesis. On the other hand, Attanasio, Blow, Hamilton, and Leicester (2009) find that house prices have the same impact on consumption across age groups, consistent with the so-called common factor hypothesis. First, we confirm that the findings in both papers can be reproduced. Second, we rule out a number of potential reasons related to the basic data construction, and provide evidence that the functional form (i.e., an Euler equation of consumption vs. a reduced form life-cycle model) and not data aggregation considerations (household level data vs. synthetic cohort data) may be at the root of the conflicting results in the two papers. Our findings revive the debate of whether there is an effect of house prices on consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristini, Annalisa & Sevilla, Almudena, 2013. "Do House Prices Affect Consumption? A Re-assessment of the Wealth Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 7576, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Alexander Michaelides & Kalin Nikolov, 2011. "Winners and Losers in Housing Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 255-296, March.
    2. Sydney Ludvigson & Christina H. Paxson, 2001. "Approximation Bias In Linearized Euler Equations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 242-256, May.
    3. Riccardo De Bonis & Andrea Silvestrini, 2012. "The effects of financial and real wealth on consumption: new evidence from OECD countries," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 409-425, March.
    4. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
    5. Hryshko, Dmytro & José Luengo-Prado, María & Sørensen, Bent E., 2010. "House prices and risk sharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 975-987.
    6. Richard Disney & John Gathergood & Andrew Henley, 2010. "House Price Shocks, Negative Equity, and Household Consumption in the United Kingdom," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1179-1207, December.
    7. Orazio P. Attanasio & Laura Blow & Robert Hamilton & Andrew Leicester, 2009. "Booms and Busts: Consumption, House Prices and Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 20-50, February.
    8. Søren Leth-Petersen, 2010. "Intertemporal Consumption and Credit Constraints: Does Total Expenditure Respond to an Exogenous Shock to Credit?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1080-1103, June.
    9. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-543, May.
    10. Ludwig, Alexander & Sløk, Torsten, 2004. "The relationship between stock prices, house prices and consumption in OECD," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-12, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    11. Martin Browning & Mette Gørtz & Søren Leth‐Petersen, 2013. "Housing Wealth and Consumption: A Micro Panel Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 401-428, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustafsson, Peter & Stockhammar, Pär & Österholm, Pär, 2016. "Macroeconomic effects of a decline in housing prices in Sweden," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 242-255.
    2. Hori, Masahiro & Niizeki, Takeshi, 2017. "Housing Wealth Effects in Japan: Evidence Based on Household Micro Data," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 69, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wealth hypothesis; house prices; consumption; common factor hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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