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Liquidity Constraints and Housing Prices: Theory and Evidence from the VA Mortgage

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  • Jacob L. Vigdor

Abstract

This paper employs a simple intertemporal model to show that presence of liquidity constraints can depress the price of a durable good below its net present rental value, regardless of the overall supply elasticity. The existence of price effects implies that the relaxation of liquidity constraints is not Pareto improving, and may in fact be regressive. Historical evidence, which exploits the fact that a clearly identifiable group, war veterans, enjoyed the most favored access to mortgage credit in the postwar era, supports the model. The results suggest that more recent mortgage market innovations have served primarily to increase prices rather than home ownership rates, and that such innovations have the potential to exacerbate socioeconomic disparities in ownership rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob L. Vigdor, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints and Housing Prices: Theory and Evidence from the VA Mortgage," NBER Working Papers 10611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10611
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    3. Gurdgiev, Constantin T., 2006. "Owner-occupied housing in a model of exchange rate determination," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 217-229, September.
    4. Leah Platt Boustan & Allison Shertzer, 2010. "Demography and Population Loss from Central Cities, 1950-2000," NBER Working Papers 16435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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