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Households’ Indebtedness and Financial Fragility

The paper studies the determinants of international differences in household indebtedness, and inquires whether indebtedness is associated with increased “financial fragility”, as measured by the sensitivity of household arrears and insolvencies to macroeconomic shocks. It also investigates whether financial fragility is affected by institutional factors, such as information sharing arrangements, judicial efficiency and individual bankruptcy regulation. We address these issues by tapping three data sets: (i) cross-country data on household indebtedness; (ii) European panel data for households lending and arrears; and (iii) time series data for household lending and insolvencies in the U.K., the U.S.A. and Germany. Overall, the analysis underscores the importance of institutional arrangements in determining the size and fragility of household credit markets.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 208.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2008
Date of revision: 09 Sep 2010
Publication status: Published in Journal of Financial Management Markets and Institutions, vol. 1, n. 1, 23-46, 2013.
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:208
Contact details of provider: Postal: I-80126 Napoli
Phone: +39 081 - 675372
Fax: +39 081 - 675372
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  1. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
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  7. Beck, Thorsten & Büyükkarabacak, Berrak & Rioja, Felix & Valev, Neven, 2009. "Who Gets the Credit? And Does It Matter? Household vs. Firm Lending across Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 7400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Courts: the Lex Mundi Project," NBER Working Papers 8890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2008. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the 2007 Mortgage Default Crisis," NBER Working Papers 13936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James Banks & Richard Blundell & James P. Smith, 2004. "Understanding Differences in Household Financial Wealth between the United States and Great Britain," Labor and Demography 0403028, EconWPA.
  11. Martin Brown & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2008. "Information Sharing and Credit: Firm-Level Evidence from Transition Countries," Discussion Papers 3_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  12. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  14. Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo & John Muellbauer, 2006. "Consumer credit conditions in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 314, Bank of England.
  15. David B. Gross, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 319-347, March.
  16. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfection: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Poterba, James M & Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1994. "Targeted Retirement Saving and the Net Worth of Elderly Americans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 180-85, May.
  18. Michael Hurd & Arie Kapteyn, 2003. "Health, Wealth, and the Role of Institutions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  19. Inessa Love & Nataliya Mylenko, 2003. "Credit reporting and financing constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3142, The World Bank.
  20. Gropp, Reint & Scholz, John Karl & White, Michelle J, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-51, February.
  21. Brown, Martin & Zehnder, Christian, 2010. "The emergence of information sharing in credit markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 255-278, April.
  22. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  23. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 1999. "Information Sharing, Lending and Defaults: Cross-Country Evidence," CSEF Working Papers 22, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  24. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
  25. James Banks & Richard Blundell & James P. Smith, 2000. "Wealth inequality in the United States and Great Britain," IFS Working Papers W00/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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