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Carlos Caceres
This paper analyzes the existence of “wealth effects” derived from net equity (in the form of housing, financial assets, and total net worth) on consumption. The study uses longitudinal household-level data?from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) ?covering about 7,000-9,000 households in the U.S., with the estimations carried over the period 1999-2017. Overall, wealth effects are found to be relatively large and significant for housing wealth, but less so for other types of wealth, including stocks. Furthermore, the analysis shows how these estimated marginal propensities to consume (MPC) from wealth are closely linked to household characteristics, including income and demographic factors. Finally, underlying structural changes in household characteristics point to potentially lower aggregate MPCs from wealth going forward.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi and Jelle Barkema
Using bilateral data on migration across US metro areas, we find strong evidence that increasing house price and income inequality has reduced long distance migration, the type most linked to jobs. For those migrating uphill, from a less to a more prosperous location, lower mobility is driven by increasing house price inequlity, as the disincentives from higher house prices dominate the incentives from higher earnings. By contrast, increasing income inequality drives the fall in downhill migration as the disincentives from lower earnings dominate the incentives from lower house prices. The model underlines the plight of those trapped in decaying metro areas—those “left behind”.
Mr. Harris Selod, Mr. Klaus W. Deininger, and Mr. Rabah Arezki
This paper studies the determinants of foreign land acquisition for large-scale agriculture. To do so, gravity models are estimated using data on bilateral investment relationships, together with newly constructed indicators of agro-ecological suitability in areas with low population density as well as indicators of land rights security. Results confirm the central role of agro-ecological potential as a pull factor. In contrast to the literature on foreign investment in general, the quality of the business climate is insignificant whereas weak land governance and tenure security for current users make countries more attractive for investors. Implications for policy are discussed.
Mr. Damien Puy, Mr. Anil Ari, and Ms. Yu Shi
We test whether foreign demand matters for local house prices in the US using an identification strategy based on the existence of “home bias abroad” in international real estate markets. Following an extreme political crisis event abroad, a proxy for a strong and exogenous shift in foreign demand, we show that house prices rise disproportionately more in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of population originating from the crisis country. This effect is strong, persistent, and robust to the exclusion of major cities. We also show that areas that were already expensive in the late 1990s have experienced the strongest foreign demand shocks and the biggest drop in affordability between 2000 and 2017. Our findings suggest a non-trivial causal effect of foreign demand shocks on local house prices over the last 20 years, especially in neighbourhoods that were already rather unaffordable for the median household.
Ms. Yuko Hashimoto, Mr. Gee Hee Hong, and Xiaoxiao Zhang
How does a shrinking population affect the housing market? In this study, drawing on Japan’s experience, we find that there exists an asymmetric relationship between housing prices and population change. Due to the durability of housing structures, the decline in housing prices associated with population losses is estimated to be larger than the rise in prices associated with population increases. Given that population losses have been and are projected to be more acute in rural areas than urban areas in Japan, the on-going demographic transition in Japan could worsen regional disparities, as falling house prices in rural areas could intensify population outflows. Policy measures to promote more even population growth across regions, and avoid the over-supply of houses, are critical to stabilize house prices with a shrinking population.
Remi Jedwab, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Anthony Yezer
It is obvious that holding city population constant, differences in cities across the world are enormous. Urban giants in poor countries are not large using measures such as land area, interior space or value of output. These differences are easily reconciled mathematically as population is the product of land area, structure space per unit land (i.e., heights), and population per unit interior space (i.e., crowding). The first two are far larger in the cities of developed countries while the latter is larger for the cities of developing countries. In order to study sources of diversity among cities with similar population, we construct a version of the standard urban model (SUM) that yields the prediction that the elasticity of city size with respect to income could be similar within both developing countries and developed countries. However, differences in income and urban technology can explain the physical differences between the cities of developed countries and developing countries. Second, using a variety of newly merged data sets, the predictions of the SUM for similarities and differences of cities in developed and developing countries are tested. The findings suggest that population is a sufficient statistic to characterize city differences among cities within the same country, not across countries.
Mr. Christopher W. Crowe
The recent housing bust has reignited interest in psychological theories of speculative excess (Shiller, 2007). I investigate this issue by identifying a segment of the U.S. population-evangelical protestants-that may be less prone to speculative motives, and uncover a significant negative relationship between their population share and house price volatility. Evangelicals' focus on Biblical prophecy could account for this difference, since it may enable them to interpret otherwise negative events as containing positive news, dampening the response of house prices to shocks. I provide evidence for this channel using a popular internet measure of "prophetic activity" and a 9/11 event study. I also analyze survey data covering religious beliefs and asset holding, and find that 'end times' beliefs are associated with a one-third decline in net worth, consistent with these beliefs providing a form of psychic insurance (Scheve and Stasavage, 2006a and 2006b) that reduces asset demand.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

El informe sobre las Perspectivas de la economía mundial, publicado dos veces al año en inglés, francés, español y árabe, presenta análisis realizados por economistas del cuerpo técnico del FMI sobre la evolución económica mundial a corto y mediano plazo. En los capítulos se presenta un panorama de la economía mundial; se consideran cuestiones que afectan a los países industriales, los países en desarrollo y las economías en transición hacia un sistema de mercado, y se abordan temas relevantes para la situación actual. Anexos, recuadros, gráficos y un extenso apéndice estadístico complementan el texto.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Les Perspectives de l'économie mondiale (PEM), publiées deux fois l'an en anglais, français, espagnol et arabe, présentent des analyses de l'évolution économique mondiale à court et moyen termes, préparées par les principaux économistes du FMI. Les divers chapitres donnent un tour d'horizon de l'économie mondiale, évoquent des questions qui touchent les pays industrialisés, les pays en développement, et ceux en transition vers une économie de marché, et abordent des thèmes d'actualité. Des annexes, des encadrés, des graphiques et un appendice statistique détaillé complètent le texte.