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Household Leverage and the Recession

  • Thomas Philippon

    (NEW YORK UNIVERSITY)

  • Virgiliu Midrigan

    (New York University)

A salient feature of the recent recession is that regions that have experienced the largest changes in household leverage have also experienced the largest declines in output and employment. We study a cash-in-advance economy in which home equity borrowing, alongside public money, is used to conduct transactions. Declines in home prices tighten the cash-in-advance constraint, triggering recessions. We parameterize the model to match the key cross-sectional features of the data. The model implies that real activity is very sensitive to liquidity shocks, but not to credit shocks, and that monetary policy can significantly reduce the severity of credit-driven recessions.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 335.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:335
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2011. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings, and the Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 17583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Matteo Iacoviello & Stefano Neri, 2007. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from an Estimated DSGE Model," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 659, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 23 Oct 2009.
  3. Gertler, Mark & Karadi, Peter, 2011. "A model of unconventional monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-34, January.
  4. Gianluca Violante & Greg Kaplan, 2011. "A Model of the Consumption Response to Fiscal Stimulus Payments," 2011 Meeting Papers 243, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Karl E. Case & John M. Quigley & Robert J. Shiller, 2011. "Wealth Effects Revisited 1978-2009," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1784, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. 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.
  7. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2011. "Fiscal Stimulus in a Monetary Union: Evidence from U.S. Regions," NBER Working Papers 17391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2009. "Conventional and Unconventional Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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