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Jel Classification:R20 

Working Paper
How Do Housing Markets Affect Local Consumer Prices? – Evidence from U.S. Cities

Analyzing city-level retail price data for a variety of consumer products, we find that house price changes lead local consumer price changes, but not vice versa. The transmission of the house price changes differs substantially across locations and products. It also hinges on the nature of housing market shocks; housing supply shocks propagate through the cost-push channel via local cost and markup effects, while housing demand shocks transmit through conventional wealth and collateral effects. Our findings suggest that housing may exert greater impacts on the local cost-of-living and ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 398

Working Paper
Do Stay-at-Home Orders Cause People to Stay at Home? Effects of Stay-at-Home Orders on Consumer Behavior

We link the county-level rollout of stay-at-home orders to anonymized cell phone records and consumer spending data. We document three patterns. First, stay-at-home orders caused people to stay at home: County-level measures of mobility declined 9–13% by the day after the stay-at-home order went into effect. Second, stay-at-home orders caused large reductions in spending in sectors associated with mobility: restaurants and retail stores. However, consumers sharply increased spending on food delivery services after orders went into effect. Third, while the response of residents to ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-12

Working Paper
Do Stay-at-Home Orders Cause People to Stay at Home? Effects of Stay-at-Home Orders on Consumer Behavior

We link the county-level rollout of stay-at-home orders to anonymized cell phone records and consumer spending data. We document three patterns. First, stay-at-home orders caused people to stay home: County-level measures of mobility declined 8% by the day after the stay-at-home order went into effect. Second, stay-at-home orders caused large reductions in spending in sectors associated with mobility: small businesses and large retail stores. However, consumers sharply increased spending on food delivery services after orders went into effect. Third, responses to stay-at-home orders were ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-12

Journal Article
Recent developments in home equity lending

The equity that has accumulated in homes is one of the largest components of U.S. household wealth. In recent years, many homeowners have borrowed large amounts against that equity, frequently to finance new consumption expenditures or pay down outstanding consumer debt. In view of the growing importance of home equity credit in household finances, the Federal Reserve has for a number of years participated in nationwide surveys of the use of home equity loans. This article presents findings from a 1997 survey and from other sources of information on home equity lending.
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 84 , Issue Apr

Working Paper
Optimal Income Taxation: An Urban Economics Perspective

We derive an optimal labor income tax rate formula for urban models in which tax rates are determined by traditional forces plus a new term arising from urban forces: house price, migration and agglomeration effects. Based on the earnings distributions and housing costs in large and small US cities, we find that in a benchmark model (i) optimal income tax rates are U-shaped, (ii) urban forces serve to raise optimal tax rates at all income levels and (iii) adopting an optimal tax system induces agents with low skills to leave large, productive cities. While agglomeration effects enter the ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 51

Working Paper
Fintech Lending and Mortgage Credit Access

Following the 2008 financial crisis, mortgage credit tightened and banks lost significant mortgage market share to nonbank lenders, including to fintech firms recently. Have fintech firms expanded credit access, or are their customers similar to those of traditional lenders? Unlike in small business and unsecured consumers lending, fintech mortgage lenders do not have the same incentives or flexibility to use alternative data for credit decisions because of stringent mortgage origination requirements. Fintech loans are broadly similar to those made by traditional lenders, despite innovations ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-47

Working Paper
“Sort Selling”: Political Polarization and Residential Choice

Partisanship and political polarization are salient features of today’s society. We merge deeds records with voter rolls and show that political polarization is more than just “political cheerleading.” Descriptively, homeowners are more likely to sell their homes and move when their next-door neighbors are affiliated with the opposite political party. We use a novel, new-next door neighbor identification strategy along with rich demographic control variables and time by-geography fixed effects to confirm causality. Consistent with a partisanship mechanism, our results are strongest when ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-14

Working Paper
Measuring Mortgage Credit Availability : A Frontier Estimation Approach

We construct a new measure of mortgage credit availability that describes the maximum amount obtainable by a borrower of given characteristics. We estimate this "loan frontier" using mortgage originations data from 2001 to 2014 and show that it reflects a binding borrowing constraint. Our estimates reveal that the expansion of mortgage credit during the housing boom was substantial for all borrowers, not only for low-score or low-income borrowers. The contraction was most pronounced for low-score borrowers. Using variation in the frontier across metropolitan areas over time, we show that ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-101

Working Paper
Do Stay-at-Home Orders Cause People to Stay at Home? Effects of Stay-at-Home Orders on Consumer Behavior

We link the county-level rollout of stay-at-home orders during the Covid-19 pandemic to anonymized cell phone records and consumer spending data. We document three patterns. First, stay-at-home orders caused people to stay home: county-level measures of mobility declined 7–8% within two days of when the stay-at-home order went into effect. Second, stay-at-home orders caused large reductions in spending in sectors associated with mobility: small businesses and large retail chains. Third, we estimate fairly uniform responses to stay-at-home orders across the country; effects do not vary by ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-12

Working Paper
Recourse and residential mortgages: the case of Nevada

The state of Nevada passed legislation in 2009 that abolished deficiency judgments for purchase mortgage loans made after October 1, 2009, and collateralized by primary single-family homes. In this paper, we study how the law change affected lenders? decisions to grant mortgages and borrowers? decisions to apply for them and subsequently default. Using unique mortgage loan-level application and performance data, we find strong evidence that lenders tightened their lending standards for mortgages affected by the new legislation. In particular, lenders reduced approval rates and loan sizes for ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-2

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