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Home equity, mobility, and macroeconomic fluctuations

Vincent Sterk

Journal of Monetary Economics, 2015, vol. 74, issue C, 16-32

Abstract: How does a fall in house prices affect real activity? This paper presents a tractable business cycle model in which a decline in house prices reduces geographical mobility, creating distortions in the labor market. This happens because homeowners face declines in their home equity levels, which makes it more difficult to provide the downpayment required for a new mortgage loan. Therefore, unemployed homeowners more often turn down job offers that would require them to move. The model can account for joint cyclical patterns in housing and labor market aggregates, and predicts a breakdown of the Beveridge curve in 2009. Counterfactual experiments are used to quantify the macroeconomic importance of the mobility channel during the Great Recession.

Keywords: Housing markets; Labor markets; Refinancing constraints; DSGE (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Working Paper: Home Equity, Mobility, and Macroeconomic Fluctuations (2010) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2015.04.005

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