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Housing Wealth and Household Indebtedness: Is there a Household ‘Financial Accelerator’?

  • Richard Disney
  • Sarah Bridges
  • John Gathergood

The ‘financial accelerator’ model when applied to households states that shocks to household balance sheets (primarily changes in house prices) amplify fluctuations in consumer spending by tightening or relaxing collateral constraints on borrowing. We construct an alternative model where households also have access to unsecured debt, and examine the effect of shocks to house prices on debt-financed consumption in this augmented setting. Our alternative model reduces the amplitude of fluctuations in debt-financed consumer spending arising from fluctuations in household asset values. The paper tests the applicability of the two models using panel data for the United Kingdom that allow us to measure collateral constraints, changes in asset values and financial indebtedness at the household level.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM) in its series Discussion Papers with number 06/01.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notcfc:06/01
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  6. Aoki, Kosuke & Proudman, James & Vlieghe, Gertjan, 2004. "House prices, consumption, and monetary policy: a financial accelerator approach," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 414-435, October.
  7. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
  8. Matteo Iacoviello, 2002. "House prices, borrowing constraints and monetary policy in the business cycle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 542, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 06 Dec 2004.
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  15. Disney, Richard & Andrew Henley & David Jevons, 2002. "House Price Shocks, Negative Equity and Household Consumption in the UK in the 1990s," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 64, Royal Economic Society.
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  22. Campbell, John & Mankiw, Gregory, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," Scholarly Articles 3122545, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints And Interest Rates Matter For Consumer Behavior? Evidence From Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185, February.
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