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Debts on debts

Listed author(s):
  • Faria, João Ricardo
  • Wang, Le
  • Wu, Zhongmin

This paper studies the impact of mortgages on consumer debt and on debt on durable goods. Outstanding debt, representing mortgages, affects positively consumer debt, and the debt on durable goods. This hypothesis is empirically tested for the U.S. using PSID 2005 wave. Our results are striking. First, we find strong evidence supporting a positive association between mortgage loans and consumer debts, regardless of the measures used, the control variables used, and the methods used. The results remain unchanged when we address potential endogeneity and measurement error problems. Second, we find that the effects of mortgages on the debt on durable goods are in general smaller than the effects of mortgages on other types of debts. Third, our distributional analysis reveals an interesting pattern of the effects on consumer debt of mortgage over the distribution. Specifically, the effects monotonically decrease as the quantile increase, with the smallest effects being at the upper tail of the distribution. Finally, we also examine the short-run dynamics of the relation between mortgage and consumer debts. We find that there is no systematic relation between the growth rate of mortgage and the growth rates of consumer debts.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1062940812000204
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The North American Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 203-219

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:23:y:2012:i:2:p:203-219
DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2012.02.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620163

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