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Households’ Indebtedness and Financial Fragility

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano & Marco di Maggio, 2008. "Households’ Indebtedness and Financial Fragility," CSEF Working Papers 208, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 Sep 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    household debt; financial fragility; arrears; insolvency; information sharing; judicial efficiency; bankruptcy law;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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