Who Feels Constrained by High Debt Burdens? – Subjective vs. Objective Measures of Household Indebtedness
This paper analyzes diff erences in self-assessed debt burdens of German households confronted with an objective debt burden. Using data from the German Socio- Economic Panel, my econometric analysis shows that a household’s subjective debt burden is not only infl uenced by the current constellation of income, debt service and, possibly, the potential subsistence level, but also by expectations of the personal and overall socio-economic environment in the future (especially unemployment), as well as by further undetermined (and possibly non-fi nancial) factors. Confronted with a certain ratio of consumer debt repayments and income, women perceive signifi cantly higher subjective debt burdens. Unemployment is associated with drastically higher self-assessed debt burdens even when controlling for the overall fi nancial situation of the household. Furthermore, some discrepancies between East and West Germans are detectable. Only some diff erences in the subjective perception of objective debt burdens can be explained with personal traits (such as risk attitudes) and life satisfaction. I draw the following conclusions: First, self-assessed debt burdens contain information beyond the current economic situation, e.g., expectations on future incomes. Second, relying on subjective debt statements may lead to biased results for policy analysis if the researcher does not account for non-financial factors.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Hohenzollernstraße 1-3, 45128 Essen|
Web page: http://www.rwi-essen.de/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.rwi-essen.de/publikationen/|
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.:
- Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007.
"The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements,"
Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften,
Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
- Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Gianni Betti & Neil Dourmashkin & Mariacristina Rossi & Ya Ping Yin, 2007. "Consumer over-indebtedness in the EU: measurement and characteristics," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 136-156, May.
- Pamela Lenton & Paul Mosley, 2008. "Debt and Health," Working Papers 2008004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2008.
- Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004.
"Cut-Point Shift and Index Shift in Self-Reported Health,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-point shift and index shift in self-reported health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1083-1099, November.
- Maarten Lindeboom & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2003. "Cut-point Shift and Index Shift in Self-reported Health," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-042/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Livingstone, Sonia M. & Lunt, Peter K., 1992. "Predicting personal debt and debt repayment: Psychological, social and economic determinants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 111-134, March.
- Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005.
"Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey,"
2096, The Field Experiments Website.
- Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Armin Falk & David Huffman & Gert Wagner & Jurgen Schupp & Thomas Dohmen & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Individual risk attitudes: New evidence from a large, representative, experimentally-validated survey," Framed Field Experiments 00140, The Field Experiments Website.
- Dohmen, Thomas J & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Schupp, Jürgen & Sunde, Uwe & Wagner, Gert Georg, 2006. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 5517, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
- DeVaney, Sharon A. & Lytton, Ruth H., 1995. "Household insolvency: A review of household debt repayment, delinquency, and bankruptcy," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 137-156.
- Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
- 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).
- Georgarakos, Dimitris & Lojschová, Adriana & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2010. "Mortgage indebtedness and household financial distress," Working Paper Series 1156, European Central Bank.
- Ana del Río & Garry Young, 2005.
"The impact of unsecured debt on financial distress among British households,"
0512, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
- Ana Del-Río & Garry Young, 2005. "The impact of unsecured debt on financial distress among British households," Bank of England working papers 262, Bank of England.
- Powell, Melanie & Ansic, David, 1997. "Gender differences in risk behaviour in financial decision-making: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 605-628, November.
- Christa Fricke & Detlev Österreich & Eva Schulze & Gert G. Wagner, 2007. "Überschuldung ist ein Problem fehlender Netzwerke," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 74(7), pages 95-100.
- Sarah Bridges & Richard Disney, 2004. "Use of credit and arrears on debt among low-income families in the United Kingdom," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(1), pages 1-25, March.
- John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
- Giuseppe Bertola & Richard Disney & Charles Grant (ed.), 2006. "The Economics of Consumer Credit," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262026015, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0169. 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: (Sabine Weiler)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.