Phasing Out the Gses

78 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2015 Last revised: 5 Aug 2021

See all articles by Vadim Elenev

Vadim Elenev

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Tim Landvoigt

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

Columbia University Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); ABFER

Date Written: October 2015

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.

Suggested Citation

Elenev, Vadim and Landvoigt, Tim and Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, Phasing Out the Gses (October 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21626, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2672740

Vadim Elenev (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 20036-1984
United States

Tim Landvoigt

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh

Columbia University Graduate School of Business ( email )

3022 Broadway
Uris Hall 809
New York, NY New York 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www0.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/svannieuwerburgh/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

ABFER ( email )

BIZ 2 Storey 4, 04-05
1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

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