NBER Working Papers by Johannes C. Stroebel

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Working Papers

January 2014Testing for Information Asymmetries in Real Estate Markets
with Pablo Kurlat: w19875
We study equilibrium outcomes in markets with asymmetric information about asset values among both buyers and sellers. In residential real estate markets hard-to-observe neighborhood characteristics are a key source of information heterogeneity: sellers are usually better informed about neighborhood values than buyers, but there are some sellers and some buyers that are better informed than their peers. We propose a new theoretical framework for analyzing such markets with many heterogeneous assets and differentially informed agents. Consistent with the predictions from this framework, we find that changes in the seller composition towards (i) more informed sellers and (ii) sellers with a larger supply elasticity predict subsequent house-price declines and demographic changes in that neigh...
September 2013Regulating Consumer Financial Products: Evidence from Credit Cards
with Sumit Agarwal, Souphala Chomsisengphet, Neale Mahoney: w19484
We analyze the effectiveness of consumer financial regulation by considering the 2009 Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act in the United States. Using a unique panel data set covering over 150 million credit card accounts, we find that regulatory limits on credit card fees reduced overall borrowing costs to consumers by an annualized 2.8% of average daily balances, with a decline of more than 10% for consumers with the lowest FICO scores. Consistent with a model of low fee salience and limited market competition, we find no evidence of an offsetting increase in interest charges or a reduction in access to credit. Taken together, we estimate that the CARD Act fee reductions have saved U.S. consumers $20.8 billion per year. We also analyze the CARD Act requirem...
December 2009Estimated Impact of the Fed’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program
with John B. Taylor: w15626
We examine the quantitative impact of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program. We focus on how much of the recent decline in mortgage interest rate spreads can be attributed to these purchases. The question is more difficult than frequently perceived because of simultaneous changes in prepayment and default risks. When we control for these risks, we find evidence of statistically insignificant or small effects of the program. For specifications where the existence or announcement of the program appears to have lowered spreads, we find no separate effect of the size of the stock of MBS purchased by the Fed.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only


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