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The consumption response to borrowing constraints in the mortgage market

How is household consumption affected by borrowing constraints in the mortgage market? In a new paper, we answer this question by studying the United Kingdom’s Help-to-Buy (HTB) program over 2014–16. The program facilitated home purchases with only a 5% down payment and resulted in a sharp relaxation of the down payment constraint. We show that HTB boosted household […]

Do credit supply shocks affect employment in middle-income countries?

Small and medium-size firms (SMEs) have been a subject of great interest to scholars and policy makers, as these enterprises play a critical role in the provision of employment around the globe (Ayyagari et al. 2011). However, the ability of SMEs to create jobs is hampered by their limited access to adequate finance, particularly in […]

What countries need to consider when dual exchange rates are a problem

As World Bank economists, we are often asked to advise in situations where dual exchange rate systems in a client country become a major distortion, whether in the implementation of World Bank operations or overall macroeconomic management. Devaluation with the objective of unification of multiple exchange rates is usually part of the solution, but the […]