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House Prices and Consumer Spending

Author

Listed:
  • David Berger
  • Veronica Guerrieri
  • Guido Lorenzoni
  • Joseph Vavra

Abstract

Recent empirical work shows large consumption responses to house price movements. This is at odds with a prominent theoretical view which, using the logic of the permanent income hypothesis, argues that consumption responses should be small. We show that, in contrast to this view, workhorse models of consumption with incomplete markets calibrated to rich cross-sectional micro facts actually predict large consumption responses, in line with the data. To explain this result, we show that consumption responses to permanent house price shocks can be approximated by a simple and robust rule-of-thumb formula: the marginal propensity to consume out of temporary income times the value of housing. In our model, consumption responses depend on a number of factors such as the level and distribution of debt, the size and history of house price shocks, and the level of credit supply. Each of these effects is naturally explained with our simple formula.

Suggested Citation

  • David Berger & Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni & Joseph Vavra, 2015. "House Prices and Consumer Spending," NBER Working Papers 21667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21667
    Note: CF EFG LS ME PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:jhouse:v:38:y:2017:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2017. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings, and the Liquidity Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1427-1467.
    3. Case Karl E. & Quigley John M. & Shiller Robert J., 2005. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-34, May.
    4. Midrigan, Virgiliu & Philippon, Thomas, 2011. "Household Leverage and the Recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 8381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Kurt Mitman & Gianluca Violante & Greg Kaplan, 2015. "Consumption and House Prices in the Great Recession: Model Meets Evidence," 2015 Meeting Papers 275, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Adrien Auclert, 2015. "Monetary Policy and the Redistribution Channel," 2015 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Joseph Vavra, 2014. "Inflation Dynamics and Time-Varying Volatility: New Evidence and an Ss Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 215-258.
    8. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
    9. Johannes Stroebel & Joseph Vavra, 2014. "House Prices, Local Demand, and Retail Prices," NBER Working Papers 20710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. David Berger & Joseph Vavra, 2015. "Consumption Dynamics During Recessions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 101-154, January.
    11. Cerutti, Eugenio & Dagher, Jihad & Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni, 2017. "Housing finance and real-estate booms: A cross-country perspective," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-13.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Xavier Giroud & Holger M. Mueller, 2017. "Firms' Internal Networks and Local Economic Shocks," NBER Working Papers 23176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Andreas Fagereng & Martin B. Holm & Gisle J. Natvik, 2016. "MPC heterogeneity and household balance sheets," Discussion Papers 852, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Cesa-Bianchi, Ambrogio & Ferrero, Andrea & Rebucci, Alessandro, 2018. "International credit supply shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 219-237.
    4. Adrien Auclert, 2015. "Monetary Policy and the Redistribution Channel," 2015 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. David Berger & Nicholas Turner & Eric Zwick, 2016. "Stimulating Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 22903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Guerrieri, Luca & Iacoviello, Matteo, 2017. "Collateral constraints and macroeconomic asymmetries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 28-49.
    7. Erik Hurst & Benjamin J. Keys & Amit Seru & Joseph Vavra, 2016. "Regional Redistribution through the US Mortgage Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2982-3028, October.
    8. Piazzesi, M. & Schneider, M., 2016. "Housing and Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    9. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2016. "A Simple Model of Subprime Borrowers and Credit Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 543-547, May.
    10. repec:eee:macchp:v2-255 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Nuno Paixao, 2018. "Housing Prices and Consumer Spending: The Bank Balance Sheet Channel," 2018 Meeting Papers 1017, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1427 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Mian, A. & Sufi, A., 2016. "Who Bears the Cost of Recessions? The Role of House Prices and Household Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    14. William Elming & Andreas Ermler, 2016. "Housing equity, saving and debt dynamics over the Great Recession," IFS Working Papers W16/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • 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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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