NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Felipe Severino

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Working Papers

January 2015Changes in Buyer Composition and the Expansion of Credit During the Boom
with Manuel Adelino, Antoinette Schoar: w20848
Earlier research has suggested that distortions in the supply of mortgage credit during the run up to the 2008 financial crisis, in particular a decoupling of credit flow from income growth, may have been responsible for the rise in house prices and the subsequent collapse of the housing market. Focusing on individual mortgage transactions rather than whole zip codes, we show that the apparent decoupling of credit from income shown in previous research was driven by changes in buyer composition. In fact, the relationship between individual mortgage size and income growth during the housing boom was very similar to previous periods, independent of how we measure income. Zip codes that had large house price increases experienced significant changes in the composition of buyers, i.e. home bu...
March 2013House Prices, Collateral and Self-Employment
with Manuel Adelino, Antoinette Schoar: w18868
This paper documents the role of the collateral lending channel to facilitate small business starts and self-employment in the period before the financial crisis of 2008. We document that between 2002 and 2007 areas with a bigger run up in house prices experienced a strong increase in employment in small businesses compared to employment in large firms in the same industries. This increase in small business employment was particularly pronounced in (1) industries that need little startup capital and can thus more easily be financed out of increases in housing as collateral; (2) manufacturing industries where goods are shipped over long distances, which rules out that local demand is driving the expansion. We show that this effect is separate from an aggregate demand channel that relies on ...
February 2012Credit Supply and House Prices: Evidence from Mortgage Market Segmentation
with Manuel Adelino, Antoinette Schoar: w17832
We show that easier access to credit significantly increases house prices by using exogenous changes in the conforming loan limit as an instrument for lower cost of financing. Houses that become eligible for financing with a conforming loan show an increase in house value of 1.16 dollars per square foot (for an average price per square foot of 220 dollars) and higher overall house prices controlling for a rich set of house characteristics. However, these estimated coefficients are consistent with a local elasticity of house prices to interest rates that is lower than some previous studies proposed (below 10). In addition, loan to value ratios around the conforming loan limit deviate significantly from the common 80 percent norm, which confirms that it is an important factor in the financin...

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