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The Housing Boom and Bust: Model Meets Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Greg Kaplan
  • Kurt Mitman
  • Giovanni L. Violante

We build a model of the U.S. economy with multiple aggregate shocks (income, housing finance conditions, and beliefs about future housing demand) that generate fluctuations in equilibrium house prices. Through a series of counterfactual experiments, we study the housing boom and bust around the Great Recession and obtain three main results. First, we find that the main driver of movements in house prices and rents was a shift in beliefs. Shifts in credit conditions do not move house prices but are important for the dynamics of home ownership, leverage, and foreclosures. The role of housing rental markets and long-term mortgages in alleviating credit constraints is central to these findings. Second, our model suggests that the boom-bust in house prices explains half of the corresponding swings in non-durable expenditures and that the transmission mechanism is a wealth effect through household balance sheets. Third, we find that a large-scale debt forgiveness program would have done little to temper the collapse of house prices and expenditures, but would have dramatically reduced foreclosures and induced a small, but persistent, increase in consumption during the recovery.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23694.

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Date of creation: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23694
Note: AP EFG IFM LS ME PE
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  1. Den Haan, Wouter J., 2010. "Assessing the accuracy of the aggregate law of motion in models with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 79-99, January.
  2. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1427 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Foote, Christopher L. & Loewenstein, Lara & Willen, Paul S., 2016. "Cross-sectional patterns of mortgage debt during the housing boom: evidence and implications," Working Papers 16-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  4. Eric A. Posner & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "A Loan Modification Approach to the Housing Crisis," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 575-607.
  5. Bulent Guler, 2015. "Innovations in Information Technology and the Mortgage Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 456-483, July.
  6. Loutskina, Elena, 2011. "The role of securitization in bank liquidity and funding management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 663-684, June.
  7. Natalya Delcoure & Norm G. Miller, 2002. "International Residential Real Estate Brokerage Fees and Implications for the US Brokerage Industry," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 5(1), pages 12-39.
  8. Aaron Hedlund, 2014. "The Cyclical Dynamics of Illiquid Housing, Debt, and Foreclosures," Working Papers 1416, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  9. Daniel Greenwald, 2016. "The Mortgage Credit Channel of Macroeconomic Transmission," 2016 Meeting Papers 1551, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante, 2014. "A Model of the Consumption Response to Fiscal Stimulus Payments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(4), pages 1199-1239, 07.
  11. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
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