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Take It to the limit? The effects of household leverage caps

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We examine the effects of borrower-based macroprudential policy for household leverage, liquidity, and financial distress. For identification, we exploit the introduction of a mortgage loan-to-value limit in the Netherlands, in conjunction with population tax-return and property ownership data linked to the universe of housing transactions.First-time homebuyers most affected by the policy shock substantially reduce household leverage and debt servicing costs by taking on less mortgage debt. Rather than buying more affordable homes or taking non-regulated loans, households consume greater liquidity in the year of home purchase to plug funding gaps. Improvements in household solvency are accompanied by fewer instances of financial distress despite the temporary loss of liquidity; however, along the extensive margin, fewer households transition from renting into ownership. These effects are stronger among cash-constrained households.

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  • Sjoerd Van Bekkum & Marc Gabarro & Rustom M. Irani & José-Luis Peydró, 2019. "Take It to the limit? The effects of household leverage caps," Economics Working Papers 1682, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1682
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    Keywords

    Macroprudential policy; financial regulation; residential mortgages; household finance; household leverage; loan-to-value ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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