The Emergence of a Finance Culture in American Households, 1989-2007
As the financial economy has expanded beginning in the mid 1980s, it has done so in part by selling more products to individuals and households, such as mortgages, second mortgages, mutual funds, student loans, car loans, insurance, and various forms of retirement products. This has allowed households access to new forms of assets and debts and new ways to fund their lifestyles. This giant expansion of the financial services sector occurred at the same time that income inequality and job insecurity increased dramatically in the U.S. This paper seeks to tease out empirically the relationship between these trends by examining data on the activities of households in the past 20 years. There are two views, one that focuses on how households reacted defensively to preserve their lifestyles and the other which focuses on households developing a more financial mindset to the management of their assets, debt, and consumption and thereby using the new opportunities to invest and borrow money to increase their consumption. We show some support for both views. The use of financial products and debt has increased at all levels of the income distribution. Attitudes toward risk and indebtedness have generally become more lax. But, there is also evidence that people at the top of the income distribution are using their growing income to consume more while people lower down are struggling to keep up. The meaning of new financial culture is quite different depending on where you stand in the income hierarchy.
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iir_iirwps/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2009.
"Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk-Taking?,"
NBER Working Papers
14813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karen E. Dynan & Donald L. Kohn, 2007. "The rise in U.S. household indebtedness: causes and consequences," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Gary A. Dymski & Jesus Hernandez & Lisa Mohanty, 2011. "Race, Power, and the Subprime/Foreclosure Crisis: A Mesoanalysis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_669, Levy Economics Institute.
- Peter Tufano, 2009. "Consumer Finance," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 227-247, November.
- Alan Greenspan & James Kennedy, 2008.
"Sources and uses of equity extracted from homes,"
Oxford Review of Economic Policy,
Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-144, spring.
- Cynamon Barry Z. & Fazzari Steven M., 2008. "Household Debt in the Consumer Age: Source of Growth--Risk of Collapse," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-32, October.
- George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
- repec:ags:afjare:141665 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt6vp6p588. 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: (Lisa Schiff)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.