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Homeowner Balance Sheets and Monetary Policy
This paper empirically identifies an important channel through which monetary policy affects consumer spending: homeowner balance sheets. A monetary loosening increases home values, thereby strengthening homeowner balance sheets and stimulating household spending due to a combination of collateral and wealth effects. The magnitude of these effects on a given household depends on local housing market characteristics such as local geography and regulation. Cities with the largest geographic and regulatory barriers to new construction see 3-4 percent responses in real house prices compared with ...
The Rise and Fall of Consumption in the 2000s
U.S. consumption has gone through steep ups and downs since the turn of the millennium, but the causes of these fluctuations are still imperfectly identified. We quantify the relative impact on consumption growth of income, unemployment, house prices, credit scores, debt, expectations, foreclosures, inequality, and refinancings for four subperiods: the ?dot-com recession? (2001-2003), the ?subprime boom? (2004-2006), the Great Recession (2007-2009), and the ?tepid recovery? (2010-2012). We document that the explanatory power of different factors varies by subperiods, implying that a ...
Monetary Policy and Racial Inequality
This paper aims at an improved understanding of the relationship between monetary policy and racial inequality. We investigate the distributional effects of monetary policy in a unified framework, linking monetary policy shocks both to earnings and wealth differentials between black and white households. Specifically, we show that, although a more accommodative monetary policy increases employment of black households more than white households, the overall effects are small. At the same time, an accommodative monetary policy shock exacerbates the wealth difference between black and white ...
Wealth Effects with Endogenous Retirement
In this article, we study wealth effects, i.e., the response of consumption to exogenous changes in wealth. We use a consumption-saving model with endogenous retirement to show that the endogenous response of the value of a worker's human capital to changes in her wealth helps to account for the weak wealth effects observed in the data.
Reexamining the consumption-wealth relationship: the role of model uncertainty
In their influential work on the consumption-wealth relationship, Lettau and Ludvigson found that while consumption responds to permanent changes in wealth in the expected manner, most changes in wealth are transitory with no effect on consumption. We investigate the robustness of these results to model uncertainty using Bayesian model averaging. We find that there is model uncertainty with regard to the number of cointegrating vectors, the form of deterministic components, lag length, and whether the cointegrating residuals affect consumption and income directly. Whether this uncertainty has ...