Andrew J. Fieldhouse

Department of Economics
Cornell University
404 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

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Institutional Affiliation: Cornell University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2017The Macroeconomic Effects of Government Asset Purchases: Evidence from Postwar US Housing Credit Policy
with Karel Mertens, Morten O. Ravn: w23154
We document the portfolio activity of federal housing agencies and provide evidence on its impact on mortgage markets and the economy. Through a narrative analysis, we identify historical policy changes leading to expansions or contractions in agency mortgage holdings. Based on those regulatory events that we classify as unrelated to short-run cyclical or credit market shocks, we find that an increase in mortgage purchases by the agencies boosts mortgage lending, in particular refinancing, and lowers mortgage rates. Agency purchases influence prices in other asset markets, stimulate residential investment and expand homeownership. Using information in GSE stock prices to construct an alternative instrument for agency purchasing activity yields very similar results as our benchmark narrativ...

Published: Andrew J Fieldhouse & Karel Mertens & Morten O Ravn, 2018. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Government Asset Purchases: Evidence from Postwar U.S. Housing Credit Policy*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 133(3), pages 1503-1560. citation courtesy of

A Narrative Analysis of Mortgage Asset Purchases by Federal Agencies
with Karel Mertens: w23165
This paper provides a narrative analysis of regulatory policy changes affecting the purchases and holdings of mortgages and related securities of five US government entities over the 1968–2014 period. We focus on federal government policies that aim to influence the allocation and/or supply of residential mortgage credit. We use contemporary primary sources and various institutional histories to identify significant policy interventions, to document their economic and regulatory context, surrounding motives, and pertinent timing, as well as to quantify projected impacts on agencies’ mortgage holdings. Finally, we classify each significant policy change as either ‘cyclically motivated’ or ‘non-cyclically motivated.’ The results of the narrative analysis of federal housing credit policy chan...
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