Housing, Distribution and Welfare
70 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020
Date Written: April 24, 2020
Housing is a long-lived asset whose value is sensitive to variations in long-term growth and interest rates. When a large fraction of the population is leveraged, housing price fluctuations cause large-scale redistribution and consumption volatility. We examine policies to mitigate the impact of housing fluctuations on vulnerable households. We find that the most practical way to insure the young and the poor from the housing cycle is through a well-functioning rental market. In practice, home-ownership subsidies keep the rental market small and the housing cycle affects aggregate consumption. Removing home-ownership subsidies hurts older home-owners, while leverage limits hurt younger home-owners.
Keywords: Housing prices, credit constraints, distribution, rental markets, welfare.
JEL Classification: D15, D58, E02, E21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation