Research Interests: household finance, inequality, urban & real estate economics
‘House Prices Can’t Fall’: Do Beliefs Affect Consumer Spending and Borrowing Cycles? (with Claudia Sahm and Jesse Bricker)
Abstract: As part of a New Deal initiative to minimize home foreclosure, federal government officials and local real estate professionals graded each neighborhood in America's largest cities on its perceived credit risk. Using recently digitized maps that precisely show neighborhoods marked with red ink (highest risk) or yellow ink (slightly lower risk), I document that surveyors disproportionately assigned the most restrictive credit rating to neighborhoods with black residents. Nearly 90 percent of African Americans in 1940 lived in a census tract marked for credit redlining. Comparing credit-restricted "redlined" census tracts to adjacent "yellow-lined" tracts, I estimate the long-run effects of redlining on housing and neighborhood outcomes. Between 1940 and 1970, redlining was associated with large differential declines in housing supply and population density; homeownership rates and racial composition did not change differentially from their 1940 baseline though. Once discriminatory lending was outlawed during the mid-1970s, there was moderate convergence in homeownership rates and racial composition. However, housing supply and population density remain persistently lower in formerly credit-restricted census tracts relative to their credit-favored neighbors. Although African-American neighborhoods were much more likely to be redlined, I show the effects do not vary by a neighborhood’s initial share of African American residents. Results also hold when restricting the sample to neighborhoods without any black residents in 1940. Taken together, these findings suggest redlining impacted neighborhood housing supply and population independent of pre-war patterns of racial segregation.
Jacob Krimmel, Jesse Bricker, Alice Henriques, John Sabelhaus (2016), Estimating Top Income and Wealth Shares: Sensitivity to Data and Methods, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 106 (5), pp. 641-645. 10.1257/aer.p20161020
Jesse Bricker, Alice Henriques, Jacob Krimmel, John Sabelhaus (2016), Measuring Income and Wealth at the Top Using Administrative and Survey Data, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 52.
Abstract: Most available estimates of US wealth and income concentration indicate that top shares are high and rising in recent decades, but there is some disagreement about specific levels and trends. Household surveys are the traditional data source used to measure top shares, but recent studies using administrative tax records suggest that those survey-based top share estimates may not be capturing all of the increasing concentration. In this paper we reconcile the divergent top share estimates, showing how the choice of data sets and methodological decisions affect the levels and trends. Relative to the new and most widely-cited top share estimates based on administrative tax data alone, our preferred estimates for both wealth and income concentration are lower and rising less rapidly in recent years.
Rodney Ramcharan, Jesse Bricker, Jacob Krimmel (Draft), Signaling Status: The Impact of Relative Income on Household Consumption and Financial Decisions.
Jacob Krimmel, Kevin Moore, John Sabelhaus, Paul Smith (2013), The Current State of U.S. Household Balance Sheets, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 95 (5), pp. 337-359.
"Why Economists Have Trouble with Bubbles" by Noah Smith, Bloomberg View. July 28, 2015
"Sanders Stretches State of the Rich" by Brooks Jackson. FactCheck.org, July 23, 2015
"The Show-Off Society" by Paul Krugman, New York Times. September 25, 2014