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Author:Dokko, Jane K. 

Newsletter
Helping Homeowners During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Lessons from the Great Recession

The Covid-19 public health crisis has sharply reduced the earnings of millions of U.S. households, following the severe curtailment of economic activity needed to contain the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, households continue to confront their ongoing financial obligations. The ability of households to manage these obligations has important consequences for the speed at which the U.S. economy can recover from the current crisis. Households that are wiped out financially in the coming months will not be in a position to strongly resume spending once the virus containment issues have passed. ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 443

Journal Article
Housing affordability: recommendations for new research to guide policy

This article highlights areas where economic research is needed to guide federal policymakers addressing the challenge of improving housing affordability. The author places these research recommendations in the framework of five key issues, reflecting policymakers? need to identify a rationale for government action; to employ a single, clear measure to gauge affordability; to understand the unintended consequences of current housing policies; to ensure that the political environment is considered when developing policy; and to decide whether to use housing finance reform as a means of ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue 24-3 , Pages 138-144

Working Paper
The depth of negative equity and mortgage default decisions

A central question in the literature on mortgage default is at what point underwater homeowners walk away from their homes even if they can afford to pay. We study borrowers from Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada who purchased homes in 2006 using non-prime mortgages with 100 percent financing. Almost 80 percent of these borrowers default by the end of the observation period in September 2009. After distinguishing between defaults induced by job losses and other income shocks from those induced purely by negative equity, we find that the median borrower does not strategically default ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-35

Working Paper
And banking for all?

This paper presents data from a new survey of low- and moderate-income households in Detroit to examine bank account usage and alternative financial service (AFS) products. We find that for the vast majority of households, annual outlays on financial services for transactional and credit products are relatively small, around 1 percent of annual income. This estimate is lower than those extrapolated by previous work using the posted fees of financial services alone, suggesting that LMI households do not always choose the most expensive financial services option. This evidence is also ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-34

Conference Paper
Payments innovations in serving low- and moderate-income households: policy, and evidence from a new survey

Proceedings , Paper 1034

Working Paper
Preferences for banking and payment services among low- and moderate-income households

This paper characterizes the features of an account-based payment card--including bank debit cards, prepaid debit cards, and payroll cards--that elicit a high take-rate among low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, particularly those without bank accounts. We apply marketing research techniques, specifically choice modeling, to identify the design of a specific financial services product for LMI households, who often face difficulties maintaining standard bank accounts but need banking services. After monthly cost, we find that, on average, non-monetary features of a payment card, such as ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2011-13

Working Paper
Credit Scores and Committed Relationships

This paper presents novel evidence on the role of credit scores in the dynamics of committed relationships. We document substantial positive assortative matching with respect to credit scores, even when controlling for other socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. As a result, individual-level differences in access to credit are largely preserved at the household level. Moreover, we find that the couples' average level of and the match quality in credit scores, measured at the time of relationship formation, are highly predictive of subsequent separations. This result arises, in part, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-81

Working Paper
Does the NEA crowd out private charitable contributions to the arts?

In this paper, I extend a theoretical model of the crowding out hypothesis, whereby government contributions to a public good displace private giving, in order to illustrate how dollar-for-dollar crowding out is possible even when individuals regard their own contributions and government grants as imperfect substitutes. I estimate that private charitable contributions to arts organizations increased by 60 cents to a dollar due to a major funding cut to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) during the mid-1990s. These increases, however, also coincided with, on average, a 25 cent increase ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-10

Working Paper
Affordability, Financial Innovation, and the Start of the Housing Boom

At their peak in 2005, roughly 60 percent of all purchase mortgage loans originated in the United States contained at least one non-traditional feature. These features, which allowed borrowers easier access to credit through teaser interest rates, interest-only or negative amortization periods, and extended payment terms, have been the subject of much regulatory and popular criticism. In this paper, we construct a novel county-level dataset to analyze the relationship between rising house prices and non-traditional features of mortgage contracts. We apply a break-point methodology and find ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-1

Working Paper
Liquidity problems and early payment default among subprime mortgages

The lack of property tax escrow accounts among subprime mortgages causes borrowers to make large lump-sum tax payments that reduce liquidity. Different property tax collection dates across states and counties create exogenous variation in the time between loan origination and the first property tax due date, affording the opportunity to estimate the causal effect of loan-level exposure to liquidity reductions on mortgage default. We find that a nine-month delay in owing property taxes reduces the probability of first-year default by about 4 percent, or about one-third of the effect of a ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2011-09

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