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personal debt and psychological health

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  • John Gathergood

Abstract

Problematic personal debts and associated outcomes, such as bankruptcy and foreclosure, lead to significant declines in psychological health. This article summarises the recent literature and discusses the key issues in measurement and causality. Medical studies show that problem debts are associated with depression, self-harm and even suicide. Recent studies using econometric techniques show that some of the association in self-reported data is due to perception bias. Quasi-experimental studies using data from the housing crises show the onset of problem debt causes deterioration in psychological health, including effects upon physical health and health behaviours.

Suggested Citation

  • John Gathergood, 2013. "personal debt and psychological health," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics,, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:dofeco:v:7:year:2013:doi:3907
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    File URL: http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2013_D000274
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    anxiety; bankruptcy; consumer credit; debt; depression; finance; foreclosure; health; health behaviours; mental illness; mortgage debt; psychological health; repossession; suicide;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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