Credit, housing collateral and consumption

27 July 2011

The Review of Income & Wealth

Janine Aron, John Muellbauer et al DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.2011.00466.x

View Journal Article / Working Paper

The consumption behavior of U.K., U.S., and Japanese households is examined and compared using a modern Ando-Modigliani style consumption function. The models incorporate income growth expectations, income uncertainty, housing collateral, and other credit effects. These models therefore capture important parts of the financial accelerator. The evidence is that credit availability for U.K. and U.S., but not Japanese, households has undergone large shifts since 1980. The average consumption-to-income ratio rose in the U.K. and U.S. as mortgage down-payment constraints eased and as the collateral role of housing wealth was enhanced by financial innovations, such as home equity loans. The estimated housing collateral effect is similar in the U.S. and U.K. In Japan, land prices (which proxy house prices) continue to negatively impact consumer spending. There are negative real interest rate effects on consumption in the U.K. and U.S. and positive effects in Japan. Overall, this implies important differences in the transmission of monetary and credit shocks in Japan versus the U.S., U.K., and other credit-liberalized economies.