Working Paper No. 798

Mental Accounting in the Housing Market

Published: June 4, 2009Pages: 44Keywords: Household Finance; Mental Accounting; Co-op; Capital StructureJEL-codes: D12; G14; G21; G32

Mental Accounting in the Housing Market Johan Almenberg and Artashes Karapetyan


We use a survey to identify a consumer bias with regard to different sources of debt-financing. Less salient debt may generate psychological benefits. This should be weighed against the possible economic costs of a sub-optimal capital structure; but low levels of financial literacy make it unlikely that all households perceive the full economic costs. As a result there is a bias in favour of less salient debt. In a market with limited scope for arbitrage this consumer bias is likely to generate inefficiencies. We examine such a market in both theory and practice. The predictions of our model are given strong support by market data.
 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book

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