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From real estate to consumption: the role of credit markets in the USA

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The aim of this article is to test whether the credit market conditions affect the strength of transmission of real estate wealth effects on household consumption in the US economy. Although many different works have dealt with the analysis of the existence of a real estate wealth effect, most of them as a reaction to the dramatic increase of housing prices in several OECD countries, there are only few papers analysing whether the consumption response depends on the positive or negative sign of the wealth shock and, as far as we know, none of them takes the effects of credit market conditions on that asymmetric response into account. This article tries to fill the existing gap in the literature on this matter. From an econometric perspective, we estimate the asymmetries in the consumption response within the momentum threshold autoregressive model (M-TAR) proposed by Enders and Siklos (2001), but following Stevans (2004), it is applied to a multivariate framework. The main results show that the credit market conditions play a significant role in the transmission of changes in real estate wealth to consumption. In addition, we find that there exists an asymmetric behaviour in the US aggregate consumption spending responses to real estate wealth and credit market shocks, which is only significant when a negative shock takes place.

Keywords: D12; E21; M-TAR models; asymmetric adjustment; consumption; credit conditions index; housing liquidity index; nonlinear cointegration; real estate wealth effect

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Applied Economics III, Complutense University of Madrid, 28223, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: June 23, 2014

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