University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

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How does one measure the direct impact of foreclosures on the overall economy? The problem is complicated by the fact that other economic shocks – such as job losses - could be jointly driving up foreclosures and driving down economic growth.

Thursday, May 5, 2011



Running Time: 00:05:31

In Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy, UC Berkeley economist Atif Mian and co-authors Amir Sufi and Francesco Trebbi exploit legal differences across states in how mortgage defaults are handled. States in the US are divided into two camps. Some – like Illinois – are judicial, meaning the lender is obligated to go through the court before foreclosing on a home. Others – like California – have no such requirement, making it much easier for banks to foreclose delinquent homes. Exploiting such legal differences across states, the Mian et al study reveals the foreclosures’ negative impact on house prices, residential investment, and durable consumption (purchase of new automobiles).

Categories:  Haas Faculty & Research