NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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James Cloyne

Department of Economics
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

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NBER Program Affiliations: ME
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2018Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution Using Mortgage Notches
with Michael Carlos Best, Ethan Ilzetzki, Henrik Kleven: w24948
Using a novel source of quasi-experimental variation in interest rates, we develop a new approach to estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution (EIS). In the UK, the mortgage interest rate features discrete jumps – notches – at thresholds for the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. These notches generate large bunching below the critical LTV thresholds and missing mass above them. We develop a dynamic model that links these empirical moments to the underlying structural EIS. The average EIS is small, around 0.1, and quite homogeneous in the population. This finding is robust to structural assumptions and can allow for uncertainty, a wide range of risk preferences, portfolio reallocation, liquidity constraints, present bias, and optimization frictions. Our findings have implications for...
May 2018Taxes and Growth: New Narrative Evidence from Interwar Britain
with Nicholas Dimsdale, Natacha Postel-Vinay: w24659
The impact of fiscal policy on economic activity is still a matter of great debate. And, ever since Keynes first commented on it, interwar Britain, 1918- 1939, has remained a particularly contentious case | not least because of its high debt environment and turbulent business cycle. This debate has often focused on the effects of government spending, but little is known about the effects of tax changes. In fact, a number of tax reforms in the period focused on long-term and social objectives, often reflecting the personality of British Chancellors. Based on extensive historiographical research, we apply a narrative approach to the interwar period in Britain and isolate a new series of exogenous tax changes. We find that tax changes have a sizable effect on GDP, with multipliers around 0.5 ...
September 2017The Effect of House Prices on Household Borrowing: A New Approach
with Kilian Huber, Ethan Ilzetzki, Henrik Kleven: w23861
We investigate the effect of house prices on household borrowing using administrative mortgage data from the UK and a new empirical approach. The data contain household-level information on house prices and borrowing in a panel of homeowners, who refinance at regular and quasi-exogenous intervals. The data and setting allow us to develop an empirical approach that exploits house price variation coming from idiosyncratic and exogenous timing of refinance events around the Great Recession. We present two main results. First, there is a clear and robust effect of house prices on borrowing, but the responsiveness is smaller than recent US estimates. Second, the effect of house prices on borrowing can be explained largely by collateral effects. We study the collateral channel in two ways: throu...
 
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