Sources of Inaction in Household Finance: Evidence from the Danish Mortgage Market
65 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2015 Last revised: 7 Dec 2020
Date Written: July 2015
We build an empirical model to decompose delays in mortgage refinancing into time-dependent inaction (a low probability of responding to a refinancing incentive in a given quarter) and state- dependent inaction (a psychological addition to the financial cost of refinancing). We estimate the model on high-quality administrative panel data from Denmark, where mortgage refinancing without cash-out is unconstrained. Middle-aged and wealthy households exhibit state-dependent inaction; but older, poorer, and less-educated households exhibit strong time-dependent inaction and thereby achieve lower savings. We use the model to understand frictions in the mortgage channel of monetary policy transmission.
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