House Prices and Economic Growth

Norman Miller, Liang Peng and Michael Sklarz

Online First™, 11 July 2009

Abstract

Using quarterly data for all 379 metropolitan statistic areas (MSAs) in the U.S. from 1980:1 to 2008:2, this paper empirically studies the effect of house prices on local Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP). We compare the effects of predictable and unpredictable house price changes, which we use to capture the collateral and wealth effects of house prices respectively. We further analyze the relationship between the effects and household borrowing constraints, as well as the temporal pattern of the effects. Our analysis provides the following findings. First, house price changes have significant effects on GMP growth, and the effect of predictable changes (the collateral effect) is about three times stronger than the effect of unpredictable changes (the wealth effect). Second, the persistent component of predictable changes has a stronger collateral effect than the novel component. Third, when households are more financially constrained, the collateral effect is stronger, the wealth effect is weaker, and the total effect remains unchanged. Finally, the effects last for eight quarters, and peak on the fourth quarter after house price changes take place.Keywords  Economic growth – House prices – Wealth effect – Collateral effect – Common correlated effects estimators – Long horizon predictability

JEL classification  E23 – E24 – R11

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