Household Leverage and the Recession

Author/Editor:

Callum Jones ; Virgiliu Midrigan ; Thomas Philippon

Publication Date:

August 30, 2018

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

We evaluate and partially challenge the ‘household leverage’ view of the Great Recession. In the data, employment and consumption declined more in states where household debt declined more. We study a model where liquidity constraints amplify the response of consumption and employment to changes in debt. We estimate the model with Bayesian methods combining state and aggregate data. Changes in household credit limits explain 40 percent of the differential rise and fall of employment across states, but a small fraction of the aggregate employment decline in 2008-2010. Nevertheless, since household deleveraging was gradual, credit shocks greatly slowed the recovery.

Series:

Working Paper No. 18/194

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

August 30, 2018

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484373866/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2018194

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

51

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