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Jel Classification:D15 

Working Paper
Wage Risk and Government and Spousal Insurance

The extent to which households can self-insure and the government can help them to do so depends on the wage risk that they face and their family structure. We study wage risk in the UK and show that the persistence and riskiness of wages depends on one's age and position in the wage distribution. We also calibrate a model of couples and singles with two alternative processes for wages: a canonical one and a flexible one that allows for the much richer dynamics that we document in the data. We use our model to show that allowing for rich wage dynamics is important to properly evaluate the ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 44

Report
Housing Wealth Effects: The Long View

We provide new time-varying estimates of the housing wealth effect back to the 1980s. We use three identification strategies: OLS with a rich set of controls, the Saiz housing supply elasticity instrument, and a new instrument that exploits systematic differences in city-level exposure to regional house price cycles. All three identification strategies indicate that housing wealth elasticities were if anything slightly smaller in the 2000s than in earlier time periods. This implies that the important role housing played in the boom and bust of the 2000s was due to larger price movements ...
Staff Report , Paper 593

Working Paper
How does liquidity affect consumer payment choice?

We measure consumers? readiness to face emergency expenses. Based on data from a representative survey of US consumers, we find that financial readiness varies widely across consumers, with lowest-income, least-educated, unemployed, and black consumers most likely to have $0 saved for emergency expenses. For these consumers, even a temporary financial shock, either an unexpected negative income shock (such as a layoff or a short-term government shutdown) or an unexpected expenditure (such as a medical expense or a car repair), could have severe financial consequences. The literature likely ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-7

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-080

Working Paper
A Day Late and a Dollar Short : Liquidity and Household Formation among Student Borrowers

The federal government encourages human capital investment through lending and grant programs, but resources from these programs may also finance non-education activities for students whose liquidity is otherwise restricted. This paper explores this possibility, using administrative data for the universe of federal student loan borrowers linked to tax records. We examine the effects of a sharp discontinuity in program limits?generated by the timing of a student borrower?s 24th birthday?on household formation early in the lifecycle. After demonstrating that this discontinuity induces a jump in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-025

Working Paper
Payments Evolution from Paper to Electronic: Bill Payments and Purchases

Consumer payments in the United States gradually have been shifting away from paper checks for the past several years. Cash use has declined as well, although at a much slower pace. As the number of check payments has decreased, those payments have been replaced with electronic and card payments. However, the transition from paper to electronic and card payments for bills has not proceeded in the same way as the transition for purchases. Using detailed consumer survey panel data collected over nine years, we track the same respondents over time and find that consumers who reduced their check ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-5

Working Paper
The Mortgage Cash Flow Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission: A Tale of Two Countries

We study the mortgage cash flow channel of monetary policy transmission under fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) versus adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) regimes by comparing the United States with primarily long-term FRMs and Spain with primarily ARMs that automatically reset annually. We find a robust transmission of mortgage rate changes to spending in both countries but surprisingly a larger effect in the United States—and provide two explanations for this finding. First, there are channels of transmission other than the mortgage cash flow effect since other interest rates co-move with the mortgage ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-8

Working Paper
Credit card utilization and consumption over the life cycle and business cycle

The revolving credit available to consumers changes substantially over the business cycle, life cycle, and for individuals. We show that debt changes at the same time as credit, so credit utilization is remarkably stable. From ages 20?40, for example, credit card limits grow by more than 700 percent, and yet utilization holds steadily at around 50 percent. We estimate a structural model of life-cycle consumption and credit use in which credit cards can be used for payments, precautionary smoothing, and life-cycle smoothing, uniting their monetary and revolving credit functions. Our estimates ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-14

Working Paper
Scarred Consumption

We show that prior lifetime experiences can "scar" consumers. Consumers who have lived through times of high unemployment exhibit persistent pessimism about their future financial situation and spend significantly less, controlling for the standard life-cycle consumption factors, even though their actual future income is uncorrelated with past experiences. Due to their experience-induced frugality, scarred consumers build up more wealth. We use a stochastic lifecycle model to show that the negative relationship between past experiences and consumption cannot be generated by financial ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1259

Working Paper
Student Loans, Access to Credit and Consumer Financial Behavior

This paper provides novel evidence that increased student loan debts, caused by rising tuitions, increase borrowers’ demand for additional consumer debt, while simultaneously restricting their ability to access it. The net effect of student loan debt on consumer borrowing varies by market, depending on whether the supply or demand channel dominates. In loosely underwritten credit markets, increased student loan debt causes borrowing to increase, while in tightly underwritten markets, increased student loan debt reduces the use of credit. These findings match predictions of a standard ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-050

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