Real Effects of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Is it a Demand or a Finance Shock?

39 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2008

See all articles by Hui Tong

Hui Tong

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Shang-Jin Wei

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); International Monetary Fund (IMF); Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2008

Abstract

We develop a methodology to study how the subprime crisis spills over to the real economy. Does it manifest itself primarily through reducing consumer demand or through tightening liquidity constraint on non-financial firms? Since most non-financial firms have much larger cash holding than before, they appear unlikely to face significant liquidity constraint. We propose a methodology to estimate these two channels of spillovers. We first propose an index of a firm's sensitivity to consumer demand, based on its response to the 9/11 shock in 2001. We then construct a separate firm-level index on financial constraint based on Whited and Wu (2006). We find that both channels are at work, but a tightened liquidity squeeze is economically more important than a reduced consumer spending in explaining cross firm differences in stock price declines.

Keywords: United States, Consumer credit, Borrowing, Demand, External shocks, Liquidity controls, Financial crisis, Spillovers, Stock prices

Suggested Citation

Tong, Hui and Wei, Shang-Jin, Real Effects of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Is it a Demand or a Finance Shock? (July 2008). IMF Working Papers, Vol. , pp. 1-37, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1266519

Hui Tong (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Shang-Jin Wei

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Beijing, 100084
China

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