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Financial Trouble Across Generations: Evidence from the Universe of Personal Loans in Denmark

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  • Claus Thustrup Kreiner
  • Søren Leth-Petersen
  • Louise Charlotte Willerslev-Olsen

Abstract

This article uses administrative data with longitudinal information about defaults for the entire Danish population to analyse the driving forces behind financial problems. Non-parametric evidence shows that the default propensity is more than four times higher for individuals with parents in default compared with that for individuals with parents not in default. This intergenerational relationship is apparent soon after children move into adulthood and become legally able to borrow, and is remarkably stable across parental income levels, childhood school performances, levels of loan balances and time periods. The evidence indicates that inherited financial behaviour is important for explaining differences in financial trouble.

Suggested Citation

  • Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Leth-Petersen & Louise Charlotte Willerslev-Olsen, 2020. "Financial Trouble Across Generations: Evidence from the Universe of Personal Loans in Denmark," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(625), pages 233-262.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:130:y:2020:i:625:p:233-262.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Martin & Henchoz, Caroline & Spycher, Thomas, 2018. "Culture and financial literacy: Evidence from a within-country language border," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 62-85.
    2. Knüpfer, Samuli & Rantapuska, Elias & Sarvimäki, Matti, 2017. "Why does portfolio choice correlate across generations," Research Discussion Papers 25/2017, Bank of Finland.
    3. Brown, Martin & Henchoz, Caroline & Spycher, Thomas, 2017. "Culture and Financial Literacy," Working Papers on Finance 1703, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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