Precautionary savings motives and tax efficiency of household portfolios: an empirical analysis
Tax efficiency is the dominant consideration in theoretical portfolio models that allow for both taxable and tax-deferred accounts (TDAs). Investors are advised to locate higher-tax assets in their tax-deferred accounts, which in the Unites States commonly translates into "holding bonds inside TDAs and holding equities outside." Yet, observed portfolio allocations are not tax efficient. This paper empirically evaluates the predictions of a recent model designed to bridge the existing gap by explicitly incorporating uninsurable labor income risk and limited accessibility of TDA assets in ...
The When, What and Where of Consumer Debt: The View from Cook County
Consumer debt grew rapidly in the years leading up to the Great Recession, and contracted sharply in its immediate aftermath. This credit cycle played out unevenly among households with different financial means and in different parts of the country. While much attention has been paid to mortgages, other debt categories, such as automobile and student, play an important role in household finances. Consequently, we analyze trends in both mortgage and non-mortgage debt across income groups during the period surrounding the Great Recession.
The tradeoff between mortgage prepayments and tax-deferred retirement savings
We show that a significant number of households can perform a tax arbitrage by cutting back on their additional mortgage payments and increasing their contributions to tax- deferred accounts (TDA). Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, we show that about 38% of U.S. households that are accelerating their mortgage payments instead of saving in tax-deferred accounts are making the wrong choice. For these households, reallocating their savings can yield a mean benefit of 11 to 17 cents per dollar, depending on the choice of investment assets in the TDA. ; In the aggregate, these ...
Inducing more efficient payment on the Illinois Tollway
Historically, an important part of Chicago?s economic strength derived from its geographic location at the nexus of the country?s transportation networks. Yet, until quite recently, the payment options on the Illinois Tollway seemed incongruous with the remarkably efficient transportation network that has kept Chicago on the country?s economic forefront.
Expectations of risk and return among household investors: Are their Sharpe ratios countercyclical?
Data obtained from special questions on the Michigan Survey of Consumer Attitudes over several years are used to analyze stock market beliefs and portfolio choices of household investors. Consistent with other survey results, expected future returns appear to be extrapolated from past realized returns. The data also indicate that expected risk and return are strongly influenced by economic prospects. When investors believe macroeconomic conditions are more expansionary, they tend to expect both higher returns and lower volatility, which implies that household Sharpe ratios are procyclical. ...
Do financial counseling mandates improve mortgage choice and performance? Evidence from a legislative experiment
We explore the effects of mandatory third-party review of mortgage contracts on the terms, availability, and performance of mortgage credit. Our study is based on a legislative experiment in which the State of Illinois required ?high-risk? mortgage applicants acquiring or refinancing properties in 10 specific zip codes to submit loan offers from state-licensed lenders to review by HUD-certified financial counselors. We document that the legislation led to declines in both the supply of and demand for credit in the treated areas. Controlling for the salient characteristics of the remaining ...
Homebuilders, Affiliated Financing Arms and the Mortgage Crisis
The authors? findings indicate that homebuilder financing affiliates do make loans to observably riskier borrowers, but the loans made by homebuilders have lower delinquency rates than those made by unaffiliated lenders, even when loan and borrower characteristics are held constant.
Consumer Credit Trends by Income and Geography in 2001–12
As economists have tried to understand the causes of the Great Recession and its consequences for households and firms, a consensus has emerged: The severity of the recession was amplified by the rapid buildup in consumer credit leading up to it and the subsequent credit retrenchment. However, the credit cycle played out unevenly among individuals of different financial means and across different parts of the U.S. Thus, one potential key to understanding the Great Recession is documenting how credit trends varied across the distribution of income and across geography, as well as across the ...
From the horse’s mouth: how do investor expectations of risk and return vary with economic conditions?
Data obtained from monthly Gallup/UBS surveys from 1998-2007 and from a special supplement to the Michigan Surveys of Consumer Attitudes, run in 22 monthly surveys between 2000-2005, are used to analyze stock market beliefs and portfolio choices of household investors. We show that the key variables found to be positive predictors of actual stock returns in the asset-pricing literature are also highly correlated with investor?s reported expected returns, but with the opposite sign. Moreover, analysis of the micro data indicates that expectations of both risk and returns on stocks are strongly ...
Using payment innovations to improve transportation networks: a conference summary
On June 12, 2007, Chicago Metropolis 2020 and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago jointly hosted a conference to discuss road pricing strategies, as well as other issues related to reducing transportation congestion and improving economic efficiency in the Chicago region and around the world. On June 12, 2007, Chicago Metropolis 2020 and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago jointly hosted a conference to discuss road pricing strategies, as well as other issues related to reducing transportation congestion and improving economic efficiency in the Chicago region and around the world.