Data Management

Housing And Debt Over The Life Cycle And Over The Business Cycle

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Executive Summary

This paper describes an equilibrium life-cycle model of housing where no convex adjustment costs lead households to adjust their housing choice infrequently and by large amounts when they do so. In the cross-sectional dimension, the model matches the wealth distribution; the age profiles of consumption, homeownership, and mortgage debt; and data on the frequency of housing adjustment. In the time-series dimension, the model accounts for the procyclicality and volatility of housing investment, and for the procyclical behavior of household debt.

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