Staff Working Paper No. 921
By Sevim Kösem
This paper studies housing and credit market implications of increasing income inequality and discusses how a low interest rate environment can alter its consequences. I develop an analytical general equilibrium model with a novel borrower risk composition channel of income inequality. Following a rise in income inequality house prices and mortgage debt decline, and aggregate default risk increases. I then show that low real rates mitigate the depressing effect of inequality on house prices at the cost of amplifying the aggregate default risk. Using a panel of US states and instrumental variables approach, I verify the model’s predictions.
This is an online appendix to Staff Working Paper No. 921.