Household Sector Borrowing in the Euro Area: A Micro Data Persective
This paper uses microdata from the EU-SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) to generate structural information for the euro area on the incidence of household indebtedness and of the burden to service debt. It distinguishes this incidence according to relevant characteristics such as income, age and employment status, all elements that can be cross-examined in the light of theories such as the life-cycle hypothesis. Overall, income appears as the dominant feature determining the debt status of a household. The paper also examines the evolution of indebtedness and debt service burdens over time and compares it with the US. In general, the results suggest that the macroeconomic implications of indebtedness for monetary transmission and financial stability are not associated with the mean but with the tails of the distribution.
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