Cross-country aggregate data exhibits a strong (positive) relationship between the size of the informal employment and aggregate homeownership rates. We investigate this empirical observation using a cash-in-advance model with housing markets and argue that the rate of inflation is important in explaining the nexus between informality and homeownership rates. Specifically, we uncover a novel monetary transmission mechanism and show that households with informal employment desire to economize on their short-term cash usage and avoid periodic rental payments when (i) informality is associated with constrained business investment finance, and (ii) inflation expectations are high. Our empirical and theoretical findings highlight an important interaction between the conduct of monetary policy and the performance of housing markets.
- Cross-country data
- Monetary transmission