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Regional Redistribution Through the U.S. Mortgage Market

Erik Hurst (), Benjamin Keys, Amit Seru and Joseph Vavra ()

No 21007, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Regional shocks are an important feature of the U.S. economy. Households' ability to self-insure against these shocks depends on how they affect local interest rates. In the United States, most borrowing occurs through the mortgage market and is influenced by the presence of government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). We establish that despite large regional variation in predictable default risk, GSE mortgage rates for otherwise identical loans do not vary spatially. In contrast, the private market does set interest rates that vary with local risk. We use a spatial model of collateralized borrowing to show that the national interest rate policy substantially affects welfare by redistributing resources across regions.

JEL-codes: E02 G21 G28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac and nep-ure
Date: 2015-03
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Published as Erik Hurst & Benjamin J. Keys & Amit Seru & Joseph Vavra, 2016. "Regional Redistribution through the US Mortgage Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2982-3028, October.

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