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Household debt repayment behaviour: what role do institutions play?

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  • Burcu Duygan-Bump
  • Charles Grant

Abstract

"Despite the lively policy debate on rising household debt, arrears and personal bankruptcy filings, there is relatively little empirical evidence on the determinants of households' debt repayment behaviour, or on the incidence of arrears. Even less is known about how arrears compare between countries, although debt levels are known to vary widely. Using data from the European Community Household Panel, we first show that arrears are frequently associated with subsequent adverse consequences, such as future unemployment or bad health. Second, we find that arrears are often precipitated by an adverse shock to the household's income or health, but that there are large differences between countries in how households react to these events. Finally, we show that these differences can be partly explained by local financial and judicial institutions, as captured by contract enforcement and information sharing indicators. In other words, we show that while adverse shocks are highly important, the extent to which they affect repayment behaviour depends crucially on the penalty for defaulting. This finding suggests that although repayment problems often arise from a genuine inability to repay, some households seem to behave strategically". Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Burcu Duygan-Bump & Charles Grant, 2009. "Household debt repayment behaviour: what role do institutions play?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 107-140, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:24:y:2009:i::p:107-140
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Keese, Matthias & Schmitz, Hendrik, 2010. "Broke, Ill, and Obese: The Effect of Household Debt on Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 234, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Mocetti, Sauro & Viviano, Eliana, 2017. "Looking behind mortgage delinquencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 53-63.
    3. Cristian Badarinza & John Y. Campbell & Tarun Ramadorai, 2016. "International Comparative Household Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 111-144, October.
    4. Olympia Bover & Jose Maria Casado & Sonia Costa & Philip Du Caju & Yvonne McCarthy & Eva Sierminska & Panagiota Tzamourani & Ernesto Villanueva & Tibor Zavadil, 2016. "The Distribution of Debt across Euro-Area Countries: The Role of Individual Characteristics, Institutions, and Credit Conditions," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(2), pages 71-128, June.
    5. McCarthy, Yvonne, 2014. "Dis-entangling the mortgage arrears crisis: The rolw of the labour market, income volatility and housing equity," Research Technical Papers 02/RT/14, Central Bank of Ireland.
    6. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Lojschova, Adriana & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2009. "Mortgage Indebtedness and Household Financial Distress," IZA Discussion Papers 4631, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Charles Yuji Horioka & Shizuka Sekita, 2011. "The Degree of Judicial Enforcement and Credit Markets: Evidence from Japanese Household Panel Data," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 245-268, June.
    8. Stijn Claessens & M. Ayhan Kose & Marco E. Terrones, 2009. "What happens during recessions, crunches and busts?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 653-700, October.
    9. Matthias Keese & Hendrik Schmitz, 2014. "Broke, Ill, and Obese: Is There an Effect of Household Debt on Health?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(3), pages 525-541, September.
    10. repec:bla:revinw:v:62:y:2016:i:4:p:628-649 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:zbw:rwirep:0234 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Luca Zanin, 2016. "On Italian Households’ Economic Inadequacy Using Quali-Quantitative Measures," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 59-88, August.
    13. Matthias Keese & Hendrik Schmitz, 2010. "Broke, Ill, and Obese: The Effect of Household Debt on Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 0234, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Irina Stanga & Razvan Vlahu & Jakob de Haan, 2017. "Mortgage arrears, regulation and institutions: Cross-country evidence," DNB Working Papers 580, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    15. Weiou Wu & Apostolos Fasianos & Stephen Kinsella, 2015. "Differences in Borrowing Behaviour between Core and Peripheral Economies — Economic Environment versus Financial Perceptions," Working Papers 201516, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    16. Marianna Brunetti & Elena Giarda & Costanza Torricelli, 2016. "Is Financial Fragility a Matter of Illiquidity? An Appraisal for Italian Households," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(4), pages 628-649, December.
    17. Sónia Costa, 2012. "Households’ Default Probability: An Analysis Based on the Results of the HFCS," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    18. Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (ed.), 2013. "Gegen eine rückwärtsgewandte Wirtschaftspolitik. Jahresgutachten 2013/14," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201314.
    19. David ARISTEI & Manuela Gallo, 2012. "The Drivers of Household Over-Indebtedness and Delinquency on Mortgage Loans: Evidence from Italian Microdata," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 105/2012, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia.
    20. Brown, Sarah & Ghosh, Pulak & Taylor, Karl, 2014. "The existence and persistence of household financial hardship: A Bayesian multivariate dynamic logit framework," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 285-298.
    21. Erwan Quintin, 2012. "More punishment, less default?," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 427-454, November.
    22. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Fürth, Sven, 2015. "Household repayment behavior: The role of social capital and institutional, political, and religious beliefs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 249-265.
    23. Nadja König, 2016. "Personal Insolvency Dynamics in Germany and the UK -- A SUR-TAR Approach," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201602, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
    24. Sarah Brown & Pulak Ghosh & Karl Taylor, 2012. "The Existence and Persistence of Household Financial Hardship," Working Papers 2012022, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.

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