This paper studies the role of real estate prices on employment fluctuations. We focus on the relative role of collateral channels on both household and firm sides. To quantify the importance of each channel, we use empirical evidence from Italian municipality data and a quantitative model with financial frictions. First, we exploit variation in property tax changes across municipalities during Italy’s 2012 property tax reform. Then, we use the reduced form empirical estimates to calibrate our quantitative model that includes houses and commercial real estate charged with different property tax rates. The calibrated model shows that both collateral channels explain more than 80% of the decline in employment due to lower real estate prices induced by an increase in property taxes.
#Supplementary notes can be added here, including code and math.