AbstractRising home values also raise the cost of living, offsetting their impact on consumption. However, additional home equity collateral can loosen borrowing constraints, increasing spending for households that value their current endowment of housing highly. I use geographically linked microdata to exploit regional heterogeneity in housing markets and identify the causal effect of house price fluctuations on consumer spending. A $1 increase in home values leads to a $0.047 increase in spending for homeowners, but a negligible response for renters. Results reflect large responses among credit constrained households, suggesting looser borrowing constraints are a primary driver of the MPC out of housing wealth. (JEL D12, D14, E21, R31)
American Economic Review – American Economic Association
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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