DP10698 The Consumption Response to Liquidity-Enhancing Transfers: Evidence from Italian Earthquakes
|Author(s):||Antonio Acconcia, Giancarlo Corsetti, Saverio Simonelli|
|Publication Date:||July 2015|
|Keyword(s):||Consumption, Liquidity, Mortgage, Public Transfers, Quasi-experiments|
|Programme Areas:||Monetary Economics and Fluctuations|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10698|
Exploiting three Italian earthquakes as quasi-experiments, we analyze the response of homeowners' consumption to targeted transfers, financing housing reconstruction over time. Like loans, these transfers mainly affect the liquidity of households' wealth in the short run: we show that they have no effect on consumption over a multi-year horizon. Yet, the access to reconstruction funds has significantly heterogeneous effects on impact: it strongly raises non-durable consumption by households with low liquidity and bank debt (the `wealthy-hand-to-mouth'); it makes no difference for liquid households. Consistently, in either group, consumption is insensitive to transfer funds that accrue directly to firms.