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Household Debt and Delinquency over the Life Cycle


  • Sommarat Chantarat

    (Bank of Thailand)

  • Atchana Lamsam

    (Bank of Thailand)

  • Krislert Samphantharak

    (University of California San Diego)

  • Bhumjai Tangsawasdirat

    (Bank of Thailand)


This paper uses loan-level data from Thailand's National Credit Bureau to study household debt over the life cycle of borrowers. The wide coverage and the granularity of the data allow us to decompose the aggregate, commonly-used debt per capita and delinquency rate into components that unveil the extensive and intensive margins of household indebtedness. This decomposition allows us to analyze debt holding, debt portfolio, and delinquency for each age and cohort. We find the striking inverted-U life cycle patterns of indebtedness as predicted by economic theories. However, peaks are reached at different ages for different loan products and different lenders. We also find that debt has expanded over time for all age groups. In particular, the younger cohorts seem to originate debt earlier in their lives than the older generations. Meanwhile, older borrowers remain indebted well past their retirement age. Finally, we find a downward pattern of delinquency over the life cycle. Our findings have important policy implications on financial access and distress of households as well as economic development and financial stability of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sommarat Chantarat & Atchana Lamsam & Krislert Samphantharak & Bhumjai Tangsawasdirat, 2018. "Household Debt and Delinquency over the Life Cycle," PIER Discussion Papers 94, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Sep 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:pui:dpaper:94

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kanis Saengchote & Krislert Samphantharak, 2020. "Delinquency Priority in Consumer Credit: Evidence from Thai Microdata," PIER Discussion Papers 135, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised May 2020.

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    More about this item


    Household Debt; Delinquency; Life Cycle; Financial Access; Financial Stability; Demography; Aging Economies; Credit Bureau Data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance


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