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Author:Mather, Ryan 

Working Paper
Consumption in the Great Recession: The Financial Distress Channel

During the Great Recession, the collapse of consumption across the U.S. varied greatly but systematically with house-price declines. We find that financial distress among U.S. households amplified the sensitivity of consumption to house-price shocks. We uncover two essential facts: (1) the decline in house prices led to an increase in household financial distress prior to the decline in income during the recession, and (2) at the zip-code level, the prevalence of financial distress prior to the recession was positively correlated with house-price declines at the onset of the recession. Using ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-25

Working Paper
Consumption in the Great Recession: The Financial Distress Channel

During the Great Recession, the collapse of consumption across the U.S. varied greatly but systematically with house-price declines. We find that financial distress among U.S. households amplified the sensitivity of consumption to house-price shocks. We uncover two essential facts: (1) the decline in house prices led to an increase in household financial distress prior to the decline in income during the recession, and (2) at the zip-code level, the prevalence of financial distress prior to the recession was positively correlated with house-price declines at the onset of the recession. Using ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-6

Working Paper
Household Financial Distress and the Burden of ‘Aggregate’ Shocks

In this paper we show that household-level financial distress (FD) varies greatly and can increase vulnerability to economic shocks. To do this, we establish three facts: (i) regions in the United States vary significantly in their “FD-intensity,” measured either by how much additional credit households can access or how delinquent they are on debts, (ii) shocks that are typically viewed as “aggregate” in nature hit geographic areas quite differently, and (iii) FD is an economic “pre-existing condition”: the share of an aggregate shock borne by a region is positively correlated ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-13

Journal Article
Geographic Disparity in the U.S. Population

About half the U.S. population resides on less than 200,000 square miles; the rest is spread over more than 3 million square miles.
Economic Synopses , Issue 27

Journal Article
Measuring Levels of Debt in the Eighth District’s Key Metro Areas

Debt growth and delinquency rate data do not seem to indicate that a severe debt problem may be brewing in these cities.
The Regional Economist , Volume 26 , Issue 4

Working Paper
Household Financial Distress and the Burden of “Aggregate” Shocks

The goal of this paper is to show that household-level financial distress (FD) varies greatly, meaning there is unequal exposure to macroeconomic risk, and that FD can increase macroeconomic vulnerability. To do this, we first establish three facts: (i) regions in the U.S. vary significantly in their "FD-intensity," measured either by how much additional credit households therein can access, or in how delinquent they typically are on debts, (ii) shocks that are typically viewed as "aggregate" in nature hit geographic areas quite differently, and (iii) FD is an economic "preexisting ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-025

Blog
COVID-19 and Financial Distress: Employment Vulnerability

The burden of COVID-19 will likely be borne unevenly, with the largest financial burdens potentially hitting populations already vulnerable to economic shocks.
On the Economy

Working Paper
Consumption in the Great Recession: The Financial Distress Channel

During the Great Recession, the collapse of consumption across the US varied greatly but systematically with house-price declines. Our message is that household financial health matters for understanding this relationship. Two facts are essential for our finding: (1) the decline in house prices led to an increase in household financial distress (FD) prior to the decline in income during the recession, and (2) at the zip-code level, the prevalence of FD prior to the recession was positively correlated with house-price declines at the onset of the recession. We measure the power of the ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-13

Blog
How Spread Out Is the U.S. Population?

Half the nation’s population lives in less than 5% of its counties.
On the Economy

Blog
How Will COVID-19 Affect the Spending of Financially Distressed Households?

Consumer spending will drop substantially due to COVID-19, and the declines will hit hardest in households already in financial distress.
On the Economy

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