Household Liquidity Constraints and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Danish Mortgage Reform
83 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2019 Last revised: 22 Apr 2022
Date Written: October 13, 2021
We study the causal effect of liquidity constraints on individual labor market outcomes by exploiting the 1992 mortgage reform in Denmark, which for the first time allowed homeowners to borrow against housing equity for non-housing purposes. Following the reform, liquidity-constrained homeowners increased debt levels and had higher earnings growth and lower employment rates. The option to borrow against housing equity enabled liquidity-constrained individuals to move to high-wage jobs and invest in valuable human and physical capital. The results imply that relaxing household liquidity constraints during recessions can create better job matches and potentially increase earnings and output in the longer run.
JEL Classification: G21, E44, E24, J60, D14, R20
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