Household Debt and Aggregate Consumption Expenditures
AbstractThis 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 InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 386.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 30 Oct 1997
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
More information through EDIRC
Household Debt; Consumer Spending; Debt Service;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
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.:
- Christopher D. Carroll, 1996.
"Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis,"
NBER Working Papers
5788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carroll, Christopher D, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55, February.
- 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.
- 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.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Jeffery C. Fuhrer & David W. Wilcox, 1994. "RATS code for Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," QM&RBC Codes 49, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1990.
"Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption,"
3353762, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Dynan, Karen E, 1993. "How Prudent Are Consumers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1104-13, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.).
- Andrew Kish, 2006. "Perspectives on recent trends in consumer debt," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 06-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- 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.
- Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo & John Muellbauer, 2006. "Consumer credit conditions in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 314, Bank of England.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.