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Can the mortgage market predict the presidency?

Few American homeowners — or wannabe homeowners — think about the ease of the financial mechanism that delivers their white picket fence or windowed high-rise with a city view. That is, until it’s taken away.

When mortgages are messed with, Americans vote in protest, according to a new academic paper.

In “Mortgage Market Credit Conditions and U.S. Presidential Elections,” Alexis Antoniades of Georgetown University and Charles W. Calomiris of Columbia University show that changes in the availability of mortgage credit affect voting patterns in presidential elections. In turn, that influences politicians’ behavior.

Put another way, when politicians are delivering cheap mortgage credit to constituents, voters might not notice.

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