CitationSeredenko, Dmitri (2010). The effects of self-reported house value on household consumption in Russia. College of the Holy Cross Working Paper.
AbstractThe recent collapse of the American housing market has led to widespread media coverage and renewed debate regarding the effects of financial and housing wealth
on household consumption. For many Americans, a combination of high rates of home ownership and rising house prices allowed households to take on incredible
levels of debt. Soaring levels of household consumption in turn fueled the economic growth and stability of the 1990s. This phenomenon can be attributed to a long
tradition of well-defined and enforceable property rights in both America and Western Europe. However, for many other countries, including formerly communist states, this process of home ownership and debt leveraging is simply not possible due to poorly defined and unenforceable property rights. Using data from 2000 to 2007 of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), this paper tests the effects of self-reported house value on household consumption in the Russian Federation. I find that self-reported house value is highly correlated with household consumption during the earlier rounds of the RLMS (2000-2003) but this correlation falls into statistical insignificance during the later rounds (2004-2007). Given that all of the households used in this study are entirely credit constrained, their behavior in the later rounds of RLMS is consistent with previous empirical research on the existence of a housing wealth effect in the United States.