Essays on Mortgage and Housing Markets
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CitationReher, Michael. 2019. Essays on Mortgage and Housing Markets. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation consists of three essays that investigate the relationship between financial intermediaries, households, and real activity. In the first chapter, Pedro Gete and I show how reductions in the supply of mortgage credit increase rent growth and lower homeownership rates. We identify the effect using geographic variation in exposure to a regulation-induced contraction in bank lending. The second chapter, also joint with Pedro Gete, shows how a regulation-induced increase in the liquidity of mortgage-backed securities lowers shadow banks' lending standards and thus raises their market share. In the third chapter, I show that greater supply of financing for residential improvement projects has increased rental housing quality during a period when quality accounts for a significant share of real rent growth. I arrive at this finding by studying two natural experiments that increase the supply of bank credit and private equity financing for residential improvement projects. A common conclusion throughout these three essays is that financial intermediaries affect households and real activity through the market for real estate financing.
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