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Cracks in the Foundations of Growth: What Will the Housing Debacle Mean for the U.S. Economy?

Author

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  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou
  • Greg Hannsgen
  • Gennaro Zezza

Abstract

With economic growth having cooled to 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2007, the economy can ill afford a slump in consumption by the American household. But it now appears that the household sector could finally give in to the pressures of rising gasoline prices, a weakening home market, and a large debt burden. The signals are still mixed; for example, while April’s retail sales numbers caused concern, May’s were much improved, and so was the ISM manufacturing index for June. Consumption growth indicates a slowdown. This Public Policy Brief examines the American household and its economic fortunes, concentrating on how falling home prices might hamper economic growth, generate social dislocations, and possibly lead to a full-blown financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & Greg Hannsgen & Gennaro Zezza, 2007. "Cracks in the Foundations of Growth: What Will the Housing Debacle Mean for the U.S. Economy?," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_90, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_90
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan Greenspan & James Kennedy, 2008. "Sources and uses of equity extracted from homes," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-144, spring.
    2. L. Randall Wray, 1998. "Modern Money," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_252, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Randall S. Kroszner, 2007. "Recent innovations in credit markets: a speech to the 2007 Credit Markets Symposium at the Charlotte Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Charlotte, North Carolina, March 22, 2007," Speech 270, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Hurst, Erik & Stafford, Frank, 2004. "Home Is Where the Equity Is: Mortgage Refinancing and Household Consumption," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 985-1014, December.
    5. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 2006. "Housing wealth, credit conditions and consumption," MPRA Paper 24485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & L. Randall Wray, "undated". "Does Social Security Need Saving? Providing for Retirees throughout the Twenty-first Century," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_55, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Harvey S. Rosen & Paul S. Willen, 2006. "Do households benefit from financial deregulation and innovation?: the case of the mortgage market," Public Policy Discussion Paper 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    8. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou & Gennaro Zezza & Greg Hannsgen, 2006. "Can Global Imbalances Continue?: Policies for the U.S. Economy," Economics Strategic Analysis Archive sa_nov_06, Levy Economics Institute.
    9. Edward Chilcote, 2006. "Credit Derivatives and Financial Fragility," Economics Policy Note Archive 06-1, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. repec:mes:challe:v:42:y:1999:i:6:p:80-102 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles J. Whalen, 2007. "The U.S. Credit Crunch of 2007: A Minsky Moment," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_92, Levy Economics Institute.

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