This paper applies a time-varying parameter vector autoregressive approach to estimate the relative effects of housing and stock returns on the growth rate of US consumption over time. We use annual data from 1890 to 2012 and find that at the 1- and 2-year horizons and over time, generally the housing return positively affects consumption growth while the stock return negatively affects it. For the 3- to 6-year horizons, the two return shocks generally exert a negative, but small, effect on consumption growth. These opposite responses to changes in housing and stock returns suggest different mechanisms through which wealth affects consumption. Further, the housing return effect generally increases after 1980. The sub-period from 1980 to 2012 includes the 1997/2002 asset price boom/bust where house prices continued to rise moderately as stock prices fell. These findings suggest that the magnitude of the relative return effects differs with both time and horizons and also depends on whether prices increase or decrease.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 3, 2014
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