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Collateral Damage: How Refinancing Constraints Exacerbate Regional Recessions

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  • Andrew Caplin
  • Charles Freeman
  • Joseph Tracy

Abstract

In the current structure of the U.S. residential mortgage market, a fall in property values may make it very difficult for homeowners to refinance their mortgages to take advantage of falling interest rates. In this paper, we explain the institutional background for this effect and quantify its importance. We confirm that this form of collateral constraint has greatly reduced recent refinancing in states with depressed property markets. We also point to the many ways in which the reduction in refinancing may have inflicted additional damage in these already recession-hit states. Finally, we show that relatively minor institutional changes could have neutralized the damaging effects of the collateral constraints, and we discuss why the institutions have their current structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Caplin & Charles Freeman & Joseph Tracy, 1993. "Collateral Damage: How Refinancing Constraints Exacerbate Regional Recessions," NBER Working Papers 4531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4531
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    1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    2. Mark Gertler & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1988. "Financial factors in business fluctuations," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 33-78.
    3. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    4. Donald R. Haurin & Patric H. Hendershott, 1991. "House Price Indexes: Issues and Results," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(3), pages 259-269.
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    Cited by:

    1. Downing, Chris & Stanton, Richard & Wallace, Nancy E., 2003. "An Empirical Test of a Two-Factor Mortgage Valuation Model: How Much Do House Prices Matter?," Research Program in Finance, Working Paper Series qt2qb613r5, Research Program in Finance, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Xavier Gabaix & Arvind Krishnamurthy & Olivier Vigneron, 2007. "Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 557-595, April.
    3. Bennett, Paul & Peach, Richard & Peristiani, Stavros, 2001. "Structural Change in the Mortgage Market and the Propensity to Refinance," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 955-975, November.
    4. S. Peristiani & P. Bennett & G. Monsen & R. Peach & J. Raiff, 1996. "Effects of household creditworthiness on mortgage refinancings," Research Paper 9622, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Sewin Chan, 1998. "Spatial Lock-in: Do Falling House Prices Constrain Residential Mobility?," Departmental Working Papers 199816, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    6. Archer, Wayne R. & Ling, David C. & McGill, Gary A., 1996. "The effect of income and collateral constraints on residential mortgage terminations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 235-261, June.
    7. Chan, Sewin, 1996. "Residential mobility and mortgages," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 287-311, June.
    8. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Nominal loss aversion, housing equity constraints, and household mobility: evidence from the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 171-195, January.
    9. Archer, Wayne R. & Ling, David C. & McGill, Gary A., 1997. "Demographic versus Option-Driven Mortgage Terminations," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 137-163, June.
    10. Hendershott, Patric H., 1996. "Introduction and overview," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 227-234, June.
    11. Michael LaCour-Little & Michael Marschoun & Clark L. Maxam, 2002. "Improving Parametric Mortgage Prepayment Models with Non-parametric Kernel Regression," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 24(3), pages 299-328.
    12. Owen Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "Leverage and House-Price Dynamics in U.S. Cities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 498-514, Autumn.
    13. Chris Downing & Richard Stanton & Nancy Wallace, 2003. "An empirical test of a two-factor mortgage valuation model: how much do house prices matter?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. Gary Engelhardt, 2001. "Nominal Loss Aversion, Housing Equity Constraints, and Household Mobility: Evidence from the United States," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 42, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    15. Sewin Chan, 1995. "Residential Mobility and Mortgages," NBER Working Papers 5181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Marek Lubiński, 2012. "Wpływ akceleratora finansowego na przebieg wahań koniunkturalnych [ Impact of Financial Accelerator on Business Cycle Fluctuations ]," Prace i Materiały, Instytut Rozwoju Gospodarczego (SGH), vol. 88(1), pages 63-84.

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