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End of the Road? Impact of Interest Rate Changes on the Automobile Market
The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at historic lows for the last six years, but eventually rates will return to their long-term averages. That means both policymakers and the public will once again be asking one of the classic questions in monetary economics: What are the impacts of rising interest rates on the real economy? Our recent New York Fed staff report ?Interest Rates and the Market for New Light Vehicles,? considers this question for the U.S. market for new cars and light trucks. We find strong evidence that rising rates will dampen activity: Our model predicts that in the ...
Interest rates and the market for new light vehicles
We study the impact of interest rates changes on both the demand for and supply of new light vehicles in an environment where consumers and manufacturers face their own interest rates. An increase in the consumers? interest rate raises their cost of financing and thus lowers the demand for new vehicles. An increase in the manufacturers? interest rate raises their cost of holding inventories. Both channels have equilibrium effects that are amplified and propagated over time through inventories, which serve as a way to both smooth production and facilitate greater sales at a given price. ...
The dynamics of automobile expenditures
This paper presents a dynamic model for light motor vehicles. Consumers solve an optimal stopping problem in deciding if they want a new automobile and when in the model year to purchase it. This dynamic approach allows for determining how the mix of consumers evolves over the model year and for measuring consumers' substitution patterns across products and time. I find that temporal substitution is significant, driving consumers' entry into and exit from the market. Through counterfactuals, I show that because consumers will temporarily substitute to a large degree, failure to account for ...
The production impact of "cash-for-clunkers": implications for stabilization policy
Stabilization policies frequently aim to boost spending as a means to increase GDP. Spending does not necessarily translate into production, however, especially when inventories are involved. We look at the ?cash-for-clunkers? program that helped finance the purchase of nearly 700,000 vehicles in 2009. An analysis of auto sales and production movements reveals that the program did prompt a large spike in sales. But the program had only a modest and fleeting impact on production, as inventories buffered the movements in sales. These findings suggest caution in judging the efficacy of such ...
Evidence on the Within-Industry Agglomeration of R&D, Production, and Administrative Occupations
To date, most empirical studies of industrial agglomeration rely on data where observations are assigned an industry code based on classification systems such as NAICS in North America and NACE in Europe. This study combines industry data with occupation data to show that there are important differences in the spatial patterns of occupation groups within the widely used industry definitions. We focus on workers in manufacturing industries, whose occupations almost always fit into three groups: production, administrative, or R&D. We then employ two approaches to document the spatial ...
The Impact of Trade on the North American Auto Industry
On September 4–5, 2019, the Chicago Fed held a conference at its Detroit Branch to discuss trade’s role in shaping the North American auto industry. This event brought together nearly 100 attendees, including industry leaders, academics, and policymakers.
Subprime Securitization Hits the Car Lot
Are fears of a "bubble" in auto lending overstated?