The Role of Consumer Leverage in Generating Financial Crises
Consumer leverage can generate financial crises characterized by increased bankruptcy, tightened credit access and reduced demand for goods. This paper embeds financial frictions in the mortgage contracts of homeowners within a two-sector economy to show that even at moderate initial levels, household indebtedness can create a lasting financial downturn such as the subprime mortgage crisis. Using two seemingly positive disturbances that triggered the subprime mortgage crisis - an increased housing supply and a relaxation of borrowing conditions - the model demonstrated that the subprime downturn was not a precedent but the natural consequence of financial frictions. The oversupply of houses lowers asset prices and reduces the value of the real estate collateral used in the mortgage. This worsens the leverage of indebted consumers and raised their bankruptcy prospects generating a pro-cyclical risk premium. A relaxation of borrowing conditions turns credit-constrained households into a potential source of disturbances themselves when market optimism allows them to overleverage with little downpayment. In both cases, the resulting excessive consumer leverage impairs household credit access for a lengthy after-shock period and diverts resources from their consumption. Their reduced demand for goods may propagate the downturn to the rest of the economy depressing output in other sectors. Adding credit constraints in the financial sector that provides housing mortgages deepens the negative impact of the shocks and makes recovery even more protracted.
|Date of creation:||28 Nov 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ|
Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ronald Jean Degen, 2009. "Moral hazard and the financial crisis of 2007-9: An Explanation for why the subprime mortgage defaults and the housing market collapse produced a financial crisis that was more severe than any previou," Working Papers 46, globADVANTAGE, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria.
- John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2010.
"Housing Markets and the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009: Lessons for the Future,"
SERC Discussion Papers
0049, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
- Duca, John V. & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 2010. "Housing markets and the financial crisis of 2007-2009: Lessons for the future," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 203-217, December.
- John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2010. "Housing markets and the financial crisis of 2007-2009: lessons for the future," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33613, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Curdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2015.
"Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy,"
Working Paper Series
2015-20, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, revised 10 Dec 2015.
- Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2008. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," Working Paper Research 146, National Bank of Belgium.
- Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2015. "Credit Frictions and Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 21820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Credit frictions and optimal monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 278, Bank for International Settlements.
- Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2015. "Credit Frictions and Optimal Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Kosuke Aoki & James Proudman & Gertjan Vlieghe, 2002. "House prices, consumption, and monetary policy: a financial accelerator approach," Bank of England working papers 169, Bank of England.
- Aoki, Kosuke & James Proudman & Gertjan Vlieghe, 2003. "House prices, consumption, and monetary policy: a financial accelerator approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 7, Royal Economic Society.
- N/A, 2009. "On the Recession," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 24(3), pages 253-253, May.
- Luci Ellis, 2010.
"The Housing Meltdown: Why Did It Happen in the United States?,"
International Real Estate Review,
Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 13(3), pages 351-394.
- Luci Ellis, 2008. "The housing meltdown: Why did it happen in the United States?," BIS Working Papers 259, Bank for International Settlements.
- Naohisa Hirakata & Nao Sudo & Kozo Ueda, 2009. "Chained Credit Contracts and Financial Accelerators," IMES Discussion Paper Series 09-E-30, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:631. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monica Birds)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.