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The Effect of Personal Bankruptcy Exemptions on Investment in Home Equity
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Homestead exemptions to personal bankruptcy allow households to retain their home equity up to a limit determined at the state level. Households that may experience bankruptcy thus have an incentive to bias their portfolios towards home equity. Using US household data for the period 1996 to 2006, we find that household demand for real estate is relatively high if the marginal investment in home equity is covered by the exemption. The home equity bias is more pronounced for younger and less healthy households that face more financial uncertainty and therefore have a higher ex ante probability of bankruptcy. These results suggest that homestead exemptions have an important bearing on the portfolio allocation of US households and the extent to which they insure against bad shocks.
Great Moderation at the Firm Level? Unconditional vs. Conditional Output Volatility
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy,
We test whether there has been a “Great Moderation“ of output volatility at the firm level. The multifactor residual model proposed by Pesaran (2006) is used to isolate the idiosyncratic component of firms' sales growth from macroeconomic developments. This methodology is applied to a balanced panel of about 1,200 German firms covering a 35-year period (1971-2005). Our research has three main findings. First, unconditional firm-level volatility and aggregate output volatility have seen similar downward trends. Second, conditional, idiosyncratic firm-level volatility does not exhibit a downward trend. Third, there is a positive link between growth and volatility at the firm level.