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The Dynamics of Work and Debt

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  • Jeffrey R. Campbell
  • Zvi Hercowitz

Abstract

This paper characterizes the labor supply and borrowing of a household facing collateral requirements that limit its debt and compel it to accumulate equity in its durable goods stock. The household's discount rate exceeds the market rate of interest, so it would otherwise finance increased current consumption by borrowing against future wages. Collateral constraints generate a positive comovement between the household's debt, the stock of durable goods and labor supply following wage or interest rate shocks---as the household's labor supply adjusts to finance downpayments on new durable good purchases and the subsequent debt repayment. Increasing the speed of debt repayment amplifies these movements.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey R. Campbell & Zvi Hercowitz, 2004. "The Dynamics of Work and Debt," NBER Working Papers 10201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10201
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi, 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time over the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1188-1214, December.
    2. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-346, April.
    3. Rupert, Peter & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 2000. "Homework in labor economics: Household production and intertemporal substitution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 557-579, December.
    4. Robert G. King & Julia K. Thomas, 2006. "Partial Adjustment Without Apology," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 779-809, August.
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    6. Del Boca, Daniela & Lusardi, Annamaria, 2003. "Credit market constraints and labor market decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 681-703, December.
    7. Peter J. Brady & Glenn B. Canner & Dean M. Maki, 2000. "The effects of recent mortgage refinancing," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 441-450.
    8. Fortin, Nicole M, 1995. "Allocation Inflexibilities, Female Labor Supply, and Housing Assets Accumulation: Are Women Working to Pay the Mortgage?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 524-557, July.
    9. Robert J. Barro & Robert G. King, 1984. "Time-Separable Preferences and Intertemporal-Substitution Models of Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 817-839.
    10. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    11. Robert A. Becker, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-382.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eisfeldt, Andrea L. & Rampini, Adriano A., 2007. "New or used? Investment with credit constraints," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2656-2681, November.
    2. Renata Bottazzi & Hamish Low & Matthew Wakefield, 2007. "Why do home owners work longer hours?," IFS Working Papers W07/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Orazio Attanasio & Renata Bottazzi & Hamish Low & Lars Nesheim & Matthew Wakefield, 2012. "Modelling the Demand for Housing over the Lifecycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 1-18, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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