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Wealth Inequality and Return Heterogeneity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Wealth inequality in the U.S., measured by the top 1% wealth share, experienced dramatic changes in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic theory suggests that the key to understanding wealth inequality is heterogeneity in the return to net worth across households. To understand the dynamics of wealth inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic, we develop a novel methodology that allows us to estimate the returns to net worth for different groups of households at relatively high frequency. We show that portfolio heterogeneity and asset price movements are the main determinants of ...
How Do Mortgage Rate Resets Affect Consumer Spending and Debt Repayment? Evidence from Canadian Consumers
One of the most important channels through which monetary policy affects the real economy is changes in mortgage rates. This paper studies the effects of mortgage rate changes resulting from monetary policy shifts on homeowners’ spending, debt repayment and defaults. The Canadian institutional setting facilitates the design of identification strategies for causal inference, since the vast majority of mortgages in the country experience predetermined, periodic and automatic contract renewals with the mortgage rate reset based on the prevailing market rate. This allows us to exploit ...