Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Household Debt and Aggregate Consumption Expenditures

Contents:

Author Info

  • Robert G. Murphy

    ()
    (Boston College)

Abstract

This paper shows that the debt burden of households, as measured by the debt service to income ratio, is helpful in forecasting the future growth of consumer spending. Not only is the debt-service ratio a statistically significant predictor of future spending growth, it also explains about as much of the variation in spending growth as many other commonly used indicators. And when combined with other economic indicators, the debt-service ratio still provides incremental predictive power. The debt-service ratio predicts future spending growth in part because it helps predict future income growth for borrowing-constrained households, but also because it directly affects spending growth. I argue that this direct effect reflects a tightening of lending standards by financial institutions following a rise in the debt burden of households. This direct effect is important for spending on durable goods and services, but virtually nonexistent for spending on nondurable goods. Because almost 70 percent of spending on nondurable goods represents purchases of food and clothing (which are less discretionary than purchases of durables and services), I conclude that my results are consistent with the view that borrowing-constrained households will limit their discretionary purchases when faced with a tightening of credit.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp386.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 386.

as in new window
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 30 Oct 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:386

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA
Phone: 617-552-3670
Fax: +1-617-552-2308
Email:
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Household Debt; Consumer Spending; Debt Service;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
  2. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Scholarly Articles 3353762, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Christopher D Carroll, 1990. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive 371, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Aug 1996.
  4. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  5. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
  6. Karen E. Dynan, 1993. "How prudent are consumers?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo & John Muellbauer, 2006. "Consumer credit conditions in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 314, Bank of England.
  2. John Muellbauer & Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo, 2004. "Consumer credit conditions in the UK," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 70, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Andrew Kish, 2006. "Perspectives on recent trends in consumer debt," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 06-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:386. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.