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Consumers and the economy, part II: Household debt and the weak U.S. recovery

  • Atif Mian
  • Amir Sufi

The U.S. economic recovery has been weak, especially in employment growth. A microeconomic analysis of U.S. counties shows that this weakness is closely related to elevated levels of household debt accumulated during the housing boom. Counties where household debt grew moderately from 2002 to 2006 have seen a moderation of employment losses and a robust recovery in durable consumption and residential investment. By contrast, counties that experienced large increases in household debt during the boom have been mired in a severe recessionary environment even after the official end of the recession.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal FRBSF Economic Letter.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): jan18 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2011:i:jan18:n:2011-02
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  1. John H. Mutti & Harry Grubert, 2007. "The Effect of Taxes on Royalties and the Migration of Intangible Assets Abroad," NBER Working Papers 13248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Atif R. Mian & Amir Sufi, 2010. "Household Leverage and the Recession of 2007 to 2009," NBER Working Papers 15896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Reuven Glick & Kevin J. Lansing, 2010. "Global household leverage, house prices, and consumption," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jan11.
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