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Do households with debt problems spend less?

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  • Lydon, Reamonn

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

Abstract

At the end of 2012, almost one-fifth of owner-occupier mortgages were in arrears. A further five per cent not in arrears were classified as "restructured" loans. This Economic Letter looks at the impact of financial distress on household expenditure patterns by comparing the behaviour of households in mortgage distress with similar households in the general population. It finds that, controlling for a wide range of observable household characteristics, including income levels and household composition, households with debt problems spend 18 per cent less on average. We conclude that the mortgage arrears problem exerts a significant drag on aggregate consumption in the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Lydon, Reamonn, 2013. "Do households with debt problems spend less?," Economic Letters 02/EL/13, Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbi:ecolet:02/el/13
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    File URL: https://centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/publications/economic-letters/economic-letter---vol-2013-no-2.pdf?sfvrsn=10
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kelly, Robert & O’Malley, Terence, 2016. "The good, the bad and the impaired: A credit risk model of the Irish mortgage market," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 1-9.
    2. Karen Dynan, 2012. "Is a Household Debt Overhang Holding Back Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(1 (Spring), pages 299-362.
    3. McGuinness, Anne, 2011. "The Distribution of Property Level Mortgage Arrears," Economic Letters 06/EL/11, Central Bank of Ireland.
    4. Kennedy, Gerard & McIndoe-Calder, Tara, 2012. "The Irish Mortgage Market: Stylised Facts, Negative Equity and Arrears," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 85-108, February.
    5. Kathleen W. Johnson & Geng Li, 2007. "Do high debt payments hinder household consumption smoothing?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Reamonn Lyndon & Yvonne McCarthy, 2013. "What Lies Beneath? Understanding Recent Trends in Irish Mortgage Arrears," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(1), pages 117-150.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. McCann, Fergal & McIndoe-Calder, Tara, 2014. "Property debt overhang: the case of Irish SMEs," Research Technical Papers 14/RT/14, Central Bank of Ireland.
    2. Jochen R. Andritzky, 2014. "Resolving Residential Mortgage Distress; Time to Modify?," IMF Working Papers 14/226, International Monetary Fund.

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