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Auto Sales and Credit Supply
Vehicle purchases fell by more than 20 percent during the 2007-09 recession, and auto loan originations fell by a third. We show that vehicle purchases typically account for an outsized share of the contraction in economic activity during a recession, in part because a concurrent tightening in auto lending conditions makes car purchases less affordable for many households. We explore the link between lending conditions and vehicle purchases with a novel gauge of credit supply conditions--household perceptions of vehicle financing conditions as measured on the Reuters/University of Michigan ...
Tracking the source of the decline in GDP volatility: an analysis of the automobile industry
Recent papers by Kim and Nelson (1999) and McConnell and Perez-Quiros (2000) uncover a dramatic decline in the volatility of U.S. GDP growth beginning in 1984. Determining whether the source is good luck, good policy or better inventory management has since developed into an active area of research. This paper seeks to shed light on the source of the decline in volatility by studying the behavior of the U.S. automobile industry, where the changes in volatility have mirrored those of the aggregate data. We find that changes in the relative volatility of sales and output, which have been ...
How Much Are Car Purchases Driven by Home Equity Withdrawal?
Previous research indicates that changes in housing wealth affect consumer spending on cars. We find that home equity extraction plays only a small role in this relationship. Consumers rarely use funds from equity extraction to purchase a car directly, even during the mid-2000s housing boom; this finding holds across three nationally representative household surveys. We find in credit bureau data that equity extraction does lead to a statistically significant increase in auto loan originations, consistent with equity extraction easing borrowing constraints in the auto loan market. This ...
Why are Inventory-Sales Ratios at U.S. Auto Dealerships so High?
Motor vehicle dealerships in the United States tend to hold inventories equivalent to around 65 days? worth of sales, a relatively high level that has been nearly unchanged for 50 years. Despite playing a prominent role in the volatility of U.S. business cycles, very little is known about why the auto industry targets inventory stocks at such a high level. We use a panel of inventory and sales data from 41 vehicle brands over 30 years and the solutions to two well-known inventory planning problems to show that vehicle inventories appear to be related to (1) the size of dealership franchise ...
The Young and the Carless? The Demographics of New Vehicle Purchases
A number of recent studies and press articles have documented a dramatic decline in young adults' willingness to own vehicles, particularly in the years since the 2007-09 recession.
Are Millennials Different?
The economic wellbeing of the millennial generation, which entered its working-age years around the time of the 2007-09 recession, has received considerable attention from economists and the popular press. This chapter compares the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of millennials with those of earlier generations and compares their income, saving, and consumption expenditures. Relative to members of earlier generations, millennials are more racially diverse, more educated, and more likely to have deferred marriage; these comparisons are continuations of longer-run trends in the ...