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Author:Cunningham, Chris 

Working Paper
Foreclosure Externalities and Vacant Property Registration Ordinances

This paper tests the effectiveness of vacant property registration ordinances (VPROs) in reducing negative externalities from foreclosures. VPROs were widely adopted by local governments across the United States during the foreclosure crisis and facilitated the monitoring and enforcement of existing property maintenance laws. We implement a border discontinuity design combined with a triple-difference specification to overcome policy endogeneity concerns, and we find that the enactment of VPROs in Florida more than halved the negative externality from foreclosure. This finding is robust to a ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-20

Working Paper
Household Debt and Local Public Finances

In the wake of the Great Recession, steep declines in state and local government expenditures and employment were a large and persistent source of economic weakness. The business cycle was also characterized by large increases and decreases in household debt. We estimate the extent to which variation in local government revenues and expenditures can be explained by variation in the expansion of household debt from 2002 to 2007, and the contraction thereafter. We merge individual credit balance data with municipal financial data from the Census of Governments. Using Census block indicators, we ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1431

COVID-19 Mortgage Relief—The Role of Income Support

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a large number of furloughs, layoffs, reductions in hours worked, and wage cuts. Anticipating that many homeowners would consequently have problems paying their monthly mortgage bill, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ordered all mortgage servicers of federally backed debt to provide forbearance to any homeowners affected by the crisis. In addition, bank regulators encouraged lenders to forbear and restructure mortgages for borrowers affected by the shutdown, actions that staved off an immediate wave of foreclosures. At the end of the ...
Macroblog

Journal Article
Clearing the roadways: the case for congestion pricing

EconSouth , Volume 10 , Issue 2

Working Paper
The Good, the Bad, and the Ordinary: Estimating Agent Value-Added Using Real Estate Transactions

Despite the prevalence and high cost of real estate agents, there is limited empirical evidence as to the nature or efficacy of their services. In this paper we estimate real estate agents’ value-added when either selling or buying homes using data from three large multiple listing services (MLS). We find that homeowners who forgo a conventional real estate agent, but who list their homes on the MLS via a flat fee broker, sell for between 1 and 4 percent more before commission but take longer to sell and are less likely to complete a sale. However, these average effects mask a significant ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2022-11

Working Paper
Housing wealth and wage bargaining

We examine the relationship between housing equity and wage earnings. We first provide a simple model of wage bargaining where failure leads to both job loss and mortgage default. Moreover, foreclosure generates disutility beyond selling a home. We test this prediction using nine waves of the national American Housing Survey. Employing a rich set of time and place controls, individual fixed effects, and an instrumental variable strategy, we find that people with an underwater mortgage command a significantly lower wage than other homeowners. This finding survives a number of robustness ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2012-20

Working Paper
Fracking and Mortgage Default

This paper ?nds that increased hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," along the Marcellus Formation in Pennsylvania had a signi?cant, negative effect on mortgage credit risk. Controlling for potential endogeneity bias by utilizing the underlying geologic properties of the land as instrumental variables for fracking activity, we ?nd that mortgages originated before the 2007 boom in shale gas, were, post-boom, signi?cantly less likely to default in areas with greater drilling activity. The weight of evidence suggests that the greatest bene?t from fracking came from strengthening the labor ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2017-4

Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Dallas Conference Explored Housing, Urban Economics

Residential real estate prices rose sharply throughout the United States following the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020. While property owners received a capital gains windfall, first-time buyers and renters have struggled with reduced affordability.
Dallas Fed Economics

Working Paper
Estimating the holdout problem in land assembly

The Supreme Court?s recent decision in Kelo v. New London allows the use of eminent domain to facilitate private economic development. While the court?s condition for allowing takings was highly expansive, there may be a market failure that warrants state intervention when parcels of land need to be combined for redevelopment. The collective action or strategic holdout problem associated with land assembly may limit redevelopment of older communities when one or more existing owners seek to capture a disproportionate share of the potential surplus. The problem may be compounded by landowners? ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2013-19

Working Paper
Voters hold the key: lock-in, mobility, and the portability of property tax exemptions

Since California voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978, fifteen states have enacted caps on the annual growth in assessed property values. These laws often impose a great burden on municipal finances and create horizontal inequity among homeowners. Why do voters choose to limit local government in this way? Reasons may include controlling the power of special interests, addressing agency failures of government officials (the "Leviathan" hypothesis), or preserving the impact of a current but fleeting antitax political alignment. Yet research has found that voters' perception of a ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2009-19

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