The Effect of Housing Wealth Losses on Spending in the Great Recession

Published in: Economic Inquiry, Volume 57, No. 2, pages 972-996 (April 2019). doi: 10.1111/ecin.12753

by Marco Angrisani, Michael D. Hurd, Susann Rohwedder

Read More

Access further information on this document at Economic Inquiry

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

We use panel data on a complete inventory of household spending and assets to estimate the spending response to the sharp and largely unexpected declines in house values that occurred in the Great Recession. Our study complements the existing literature on this topic by relying exclusively on longitudinal micro data on both household wealth and expenditure. Our data span the period 2002-2012, allowing us to separate trends in spending from innovations in response to unexpected wealth changes. We find the marginal propensity to consume out of an unexpected housing wealth change to be 6 cents per dollar among older American households.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.