IdEP Seminar, Marta Cota - "Financial Skills and Search in the Mortgage Market"

Institute of Economics

Date: 31 January 2024 / 12:30 - 13:30

Online in MS Teams

Are households with low financial skills disadvantaged in the mortgage market? Using stochastic record linking, we construct a unique U.S. dataset encompassing a rich set of mortgage details and borrowers’ characteristics, including their objective financial literacy measure. We find that households with low financial literacy are up to 4% more likely to search less and lock in at 15-20 b.p. higher rates. Upon origination, unskilled borrowers face a 35-45% higher mortgage delinquency and end up with a 30% lower likelihood of refinancing. Overall, for a $100,000 loan, the potential losses from low financial literacy are more than $9,329 over the mortgage duration. To understand how financial education, more accessible mortgages, or mortgage rate changes affect households with low financial literacy, we formulate and calibrate a mortgage search model with heterogeneous search frictions and endogenous financial skills. Our model estimates show that search intensity and financial skill variations contribute to 55% and 10% of mortgage rate variations, respectively. We find that i) more accessible mortgages lead to a higher delinquency risk among low-skilled households, ii) financial education mitigates the adverse effects of increased accessibility, and iii) low mortgage rates favor high-skilled homeowners and, by reinforcing refinancing activity, deepen consumption differences across different financial skill levels

Teams link
Meeting ID: 327 572 317 746 
Passcode: Cv5rJ4