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Household sector borrowing in the euro area - a micro data perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Adalid, Ramón
  • Lojschová, Adriana
  • Westermann, Thomas

This paper uses micro data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) to generate structural information for the euro area on the incidence of household indebtedness and the debt service burden. It breaks down incidence by characteristics such as income, age and employment status, all features that can be cross-referenced in the light of theories such as the life-cycle hypothesis. Overall, income appears to be 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 the situation in the euro area with that in the United States. 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. JEL Classification: C32, G14

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File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpops/ecbocp125.pdf
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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 125.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20110125
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  1. Oecd, 2006. "Improving Financial Literacy: Analysis of Issues and Policies," Financial Market Trends, OECD Publishing, vol. 2005(2), pages 111-123.
  2. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
  3. Dániel Holló, 2007. "Household indebtedness and financial stability: Reasons to be afraid?," MNB Bulletin (discontinued), Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 2(2), pages 23-30, November.
  4. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Lojschova, Adriana & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2009. "Mortgage Indebtedness and Household Financial Distress," IZA Discussion Papers 4631, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. George T. Simigiannis & Panagiota G. Tzamourani, 2007. "Borrowing and socio-economic characteristics of households: results of sample surveys carried out by the Bank of Greece," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 28, pages 31-50, February.
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