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Abstract: We develop a model in which mortgage leverage available to households depends on the risk bearing capacity of financial intermediaries. Our model features a novel transmission mechanism from Wall Street to Main Street, as borrower households choose lower leverage and consumption when intermediaries are distressed. The model has financially constrained young and unconstrained middle-aged households in overlapping generations. Young households choose higher leverage and riskier mortgages than the middle-aged, and their consumption is particularly sensitive to credit supply. Relative to a standard model with exogenous credit constraints, the macroeconomic importance of intermediary net worth is magnified through its effects on household leverage, house prices, and consumption demand. The model quantitatively demonstrates how recessions with housing crises differ from those driven only by productivity, and how a growing demand for safe assets replicates many features of the 2000s credit boom and increases the severity of future financial crises.
Tim Landvoigt, Vadim Elenev, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, A Macroeconomic Model with Financially Constrained Producers and Intermediaries.
Abstract: We propose a model that can simultaneously capture the sharp and persistent drop in macro-economic aggregates and the sharp change in credit spreads observed in the U.S. during the Great Recession. The model features financial intermediaries that make long-term defaultable loans to producers and raise short-term debt from savers. Intermediaries are subject to a regulatory equity capital constraint. Policies limiting intermediary leverage redistribute wealth from savers to equity owners of producers and intermediaries. The benefits of lower intermediary leverage for financial stability are offset by the costs from lower output. Current capital requirements are close to optimal.
Tim Landvoigt and Juliane Begenau, Financial Regulation in a Quantitative Model of the Modern Banking System.
Abstract: How does the shadow banking system respond to changes in the capital regulation of commercial banks? We propose a tractable, quantitative general equilibrium model with regulated and unregulated banks to study the unintended consequences of regulatory policy. Tightening the capital requirement from the status quo creates a safer banking system despite more shadow banking activity. A reduction in aggregate liquidity provision decreases the funding costs of all banks, raising profits and reducing risk-taking incentives. Calibrating the model to data on financial institutions in the U.S., we find the optimal capital requirement is around 15%.
Abstract: We develop a new model of the mortgage market where both borrowers and lenders can default. Risk tolerant savers act as intermediaries between risk averse depositors and impatient borrowers. The government plays a crucial role by providing both mortgage guarantees and deposit insurance. Underpriced government mortgage guarantees lead to more and riskier mortgage originations as well as to high financial sector leverage. Mortgage crises occasionally turn into financial crises and government bailouts due to the fragility of the intermediaries' balance sheets. Increasing the price of the mortgage guarantee ``crowds in" the private sector, reduces financial fragility, leads to fewer but safer mortgages, lowers house prices, and raises mortgage and risk-free interest rates. Due to a more robust financial sector, consumption smoothing improves and aggregate welfare increases. While borrowers are nearly indifferent to a world with or without mortgage guarantees, savers are substantially better off. While aggregate welfare increases, so does wealth inequality.
Tim Landvoigt (2016), Housing demand during the boom: the role of expectations and credit constraints, Review of Financial Studies, 30 (6), pp. 1865-1902.
Abstract: I use a life-cycle model of housing demand to infer expectations about house prices and home equity requirements for the housing boom of the 2000s from observed household choices. Expectations and credit constraints are separately identified from the intensive and extensive margins of housing demand. The main results are that (1) expected price growth was close to average long-run growth, (2) home equity requirements were lax initially, but tightened after the bust, and (3) subjective uncertainty about future price growth was large. Given the option to default on mortgage debt, greater price uncertainty leads to higher optimal household leverage.
Abstract: We develop a dynamic model of entry, exit, and firm quality in the market for issuance and trading of complex financial securities. Firm quality has two dimensions; security production expertise, which creates a positive externality for other firms, and trading expertise, which allows firms to obtain more favorable prices when trading with other firms. We find that markets that have a greater scope for investment in trading expertise (information) also exhibit greater concentration, firm heterogeneity, fragility, and price dispersion.
Abstract: This paper uses an assignment model to understand the cross section of house prices within a metro area. Movers' demand for housing is derived from a life-cycle problem with credit market frictions. Equilibrium house prices adjust to assign houses that differ by quality to movers who differ by age, income, and wealth. To quantify the model, we measure distributions of house prices, house qualities, and mover characteristics from micro-data on San Diego County during the 2000s boom. The main result is that cheaper credit for poor households was a major driver of prices, especially at the low end of the market.
Tim Landvoigt, Monika Piazzesi, Martin Schneider (2014), Housing assignment with restrictions: theory and evidence from Stanford campus, American Economic Review, 104 (5), pp. 67-72.
Abstract: This paper studies housing markets where a subset of houses in a restricted area is available exclusively to a subset of "eligible" buyers. An empirical part shows that houses on Stanford campus (available only to faculty) trade at substantial discounts to comparable houses off campus. The theoretical part describes an assignment model with heterogeneous houses and buyers which predicts such discounts if the matchup of quality and buyer pools is sufficiently different inside versus outside the restricted area. The restriction can distort allocations by making eligible buyers choose either higher or lower qualities than ineligible buyers with the same characteristics.
This course is required for all students except those who, having prior training in macroeconomics, money and banking, and stabilization policy at an intermediate or advanced level, can obtain a waiver by passing an examination. The purpose of the course is to train students to think systematically about the current state of the economy and macroeconomic policy, and to be able to evaluate the economic environment within which business and financial decisions are made. The course emphasizes the use of economic theory to understand the workings of financial markets and the operation and impact of government policies. We will study the determinants of the level of national income, employment, investment, interest rates, the supply of money, inflation, exchange rates, and the formulation and operation of stabilization policies.
This is an advanced course in quantitative theory applied to macro and finance models. It is intended for doctoral students in finance, economics and related fields. The course focuses on four broad theoretical literatures: (i) firm investment and growth; (ii) corporate, household and sovereign debt; (iii) asset pricing in general equilibrium; and (iv) equilibrium macro models with a financial sector. My approach is to develop and discuss in detail a unified framework that is suited to address most topics, usually covering a few central topics and the core papers. We then discuss the more recent literature, highlighting how authors combine and expand upon the core ideas. This part of the course usually relies on regular student presentations.
COVID-19 relief measures by the U.S. government and Federal Reserve could be better designed to maximize their positive impacts on the economy, according to new research co-authored by Wharton’s Tim Landvoigt.Knowledge @ Wharton - 2020/07/21