IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bca/bocawp/08-46.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Indebtedness and the Household Financial Health: An Examination of the Canadian Debt Service Ratio Distribution

Author

Listed:
  • Umar Faruqui

Abstract

The household debt-to-disposable income ratio in Canada increased from 110 per cent in 1999 to 127 per cent in 2007. This increase has raised questions about the ability of households to service their increased debt if faced with a negative economic or socio-economic shock. The debt service ratio (DSR) measures the proportion of disposable income that households must devote to servicing their debt obligations. The aggregate DSR for Canada, as reported in the Bank of Canada's Financial System Review, has drifted up recently but remained below its historical average in 2007Q4. This would suggest that households' debt burden has remained broadly manageable. However, the aggregate DSR could mask potential vulnerabilities for the most heavily indebted households. The main contribution of this paper is that it examines the distribution of debt service burden amongst Canadian households using micro-data. This work shows that the density of households in the vulnerable tail of the DSR distribution has actually decreased somewhat since 1999, especially for lower-income households. Overall, our micro data analysis support inferences based on the aggregate data that, despite the increase in the debt-to-income ratio since the late 1990s, households remain well positioned to manage their increased debt levels. The paper also compares the DSR distributions for Canada and the U.S. The cross-country comparison suggests that, in 2004, the household sector in Canada seemed to be in a better financial position than U.S. households.

Suggested Citation

  • Umar Faruqui, 2008. "Indebtedness and the Household Financial Health: An Examination of the Canadian Debt Service Ratio Distribution," Staff Working Papers 08-46, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-46
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/wp08-46.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Thorvardur Tjörvi Ólafsson & Karen Á. Vignisdóttir, 2012. "Households’ position in the financial crisis in Iceland. Analysis based on a nationwide household-level database," Economics wp59, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    2. Mathias Drehmann & Anamaria Illes & Mikael Juselius & Marjorie Santos, 2015. "How much income is used for debt payments? A new database for debt service ratios," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    3. Jooyung Lee, 2015. "Development of statistics for aggregate household debt service ratio in Korea," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Assessing household financial positions in Asia, volume 40 Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Alan Walks, 2014. "From Financialization to Sociospatial Polarization of the City? Evidence from Canada," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(1), pages 33-66, January.
    5. Felipe Martínez & Rodrigo Cifuentes & Carlos Madeira & Rubén Poblete-Cazenave, 2013. "Measurement of Household Financial Risk with the Survey of Household Finances," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 682, Central Bank of Chile.
    6. 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.
    7. Césaire A. Meh & Yaz Terajima & David Xiao Chen & Tom Carter, 2009. "Household Debt, Assets, and Income in Canada: A Microdata Study," Discussion Papers 09-7, Bank of Canada.
    8. repec:eee:jbfina:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:121-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Kartashova, Katya & Tomlin, Ben, 2017. "House prices, consumption and the role of non-Mortgage debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 121-134.
    10. James MacGee, 2012. "The Rise in Consumer Credit and Bankruptcy: Cause for Concern?," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 346, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial stability; Monetary and financial indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D39 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Other

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-46. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.