IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The distribution of debt across euro area countries: The role of individual characteristics, institutions and credit conditions

  • Olympia Bover


    (Banco de España)

  • Jose Maria Casado


    (Banco de España)

  • Sonia Costa


    (Banco de Portugal)

  • Philip Du Caju


    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Yvonne McCarthy


    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Eva Sierminska


    (CEPS / INSTEAD Research Institute)

  • Panagiota Tzamourani


    (Bank of Greece
    Deutsche Bundesbank)

  • Ernesto Villanueva


    (Banco de España)

  • Tibor Zavadil


    (National Bank of Slovakia)

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we present an up-to-date assessment of the differences across euro area countries in the distributions of various measures of debt conditional on household characteristics. We consider three different outcomes: the probability of holding debt, the amount of debt held and, in the case of secured debt, the interest rate paid on the main mortgage. Second, we examine the role of legal and economic institutions in accounting for these differences. We use data from the first wave of a new survey of household finances, the Household Finance and Consumption Survey, to achieve these aims. We find that the patterns of secured and unsecured debt outcomes vary markedly across countries. Among all the institutions considered, the length of asset repossession periods best accounts for the features of the distribution of secured debt. In countries with longer repossession periods, the fraction of people who borrow is smaller, the youngest group of households borrow lower amounts (conditional on borrowing), and the mortgage interest rates paid by low-income households are higher. Regulatory loan-to-value ratios, the taxation of mortgages and the prevalence of interest-only or fixed-rate mortgages deliver less robust results.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 252.

in new window

Length: 83 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201312-252
Contact details of provider: Postal: Boulevard de Berlaimont 14, B-1000 Bruxelles
Phone: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 25 34
Fax: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 31 62
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Housing taxation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
  2. Le Blanc, Julia & Porpiglia, Alessandro & Teppa, Federica & Zhu, Junyi & Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2014. "Household saving behavior and credit constraints in the Euro area," Discussion Papers 16/2014, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Sven Rady & François Ortalo-Magné, 2001. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 470, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Bianco, Magda & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2002. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 3347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," NBER Working Papers 9759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don Schlagenhauf, 2007. "Accounting for changes in the homeownership rate," Working Papers 2007-034, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Matt Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don Schlagenhauf, 2009. "The Loan Structure and Housing Tenure Decisions in an Equilibrium Model of Mortgage Choice," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 444-468, July.
  8. Daniela FABBRI & Mario PADULA, 2003. "Does Poor Legal Enforcement Make Households Credit-Constrained?," FAME Research Paper Series rp81, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  9. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Mich�le Tertilt, 2007. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 402-418, March.
  10. Orazio Attanasio & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 2000. "Credit Constraints in the Market for Consumer Durables: Evidence from Micro Data on Car Loans," NBER Working Papers 7694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Francois Ortalo-Magne & Sven Rady, 1998. "Boom In, Bust Out: Young Households and the Housing Price Cycle," Finance 9810004, EconWPA, revised 25 Oct 1998.
  12. Bryan, Mark L. & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2013. "Regression Analysis of Country Effects Using Multilevel Data: A Cautionary Tale," IZA Discussion Papers 7583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle White, 1996. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," NBER Working Papers 5653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Silvia Magri & Raffaella Pico, 2010. "The rise of risk-based pricing of mortgage interest rates in Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 778, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  15. Richard Blundell & Thomas M. Stoker, 1994. "Consumption and the timing of income risk," IFS Working Papers W94/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  17. Annamaria Lusardi & Peter Tufano, 2009. "Debt Literacy, Financial Experiences, and Overindebtedness," NBER Working Papers 14808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dan Andrews & Aida Caldera Sánchez, 2011. "The Evolution of Homeownership Rates in Selected OECD Countries: Demographic and Public Policy Influences," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-37.
  19. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Indicators 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6014, September.
  20. Atif R. Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "House Prices, Home Equity-Based Borrowing, and the U.S. Household Leverage Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Harvey S. Rosen & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "The Impact of Deregulation and Financial Innovation on Consumers: The Case of the Mortgage Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(1), pages 333-360, 02.
  22. Edelberg, Wendy, 2006. "Risk-based pricing of interest rates for consumer loans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2283-2298, November.
  23. Manuel Adelino & Antoinette Schoar & Felipe Severino, 2012. "Credit Supply and House Prices: Evidence from Mortgage Market Segmentation," NBER Working Papers 17832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Lojschová, Adriana & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2010. "Mortgage indebtedness and household financial distress," Working Paper Series 1156, European Central Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201312-252. 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: ()

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.