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Can't Pay or Won't Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default
This paper exploits matched data from the PSID on borrower mortgages with income and demographic data to quantify the relative importance of negative equity, versus lack of ability to pay, as affecting default between 2009 and 2013. These data allow us to construct household budgets sets that provide better measures of ability to pay. We use instrumental variables to quantify the impact of ability to pay, including job loss and disability, versus negative equity. Changes in ability to pay have the largest estimated effects. Job loss has an equivalent effect on default likelihood as a 35 ...
Liquidity Premia, Price-Rent Dynamics, and Business Cycles
n the U.S. economy during the past 25 years, house prices exhibit fluctuations considerably larger than house rents, and these large fluctuations tend to move together with business cycles. We build a simple theoretical model to characterize these observations by showing the tight connection between price-rent fluctuation and the liquidity constraint faced by productive firms. After developing economic intuition for this result, we estimate a medium-scale dynamic general equilibrium model to assess the empirical importance of the role the price-rent fluctuation plays in the business cycle. ...