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Debts of Cyprus Households: Lessons from the First Cyprus Survey of Consumer Finances

  • Michael Haliassos
  • Christis Hassapis
  • Alex Karagrigoriou
  • George Kyriacou
  • Michalis C. Michael
  • George Syrichas

This paper describes participation of Cyprus households in various debts using data from the first (1999) Cyprus Survey of Consumer Finances. It complements our previous paper that described household participation in various types of assets (Haliassos et al., 2001). Debts considered encompass personal unsecured loans, including credit card debt, and loans secured by housing collateral, mainly mortgage debt. Findings are of policy interest, as they show the extent of household participation in various loans, and the indebtedness of various demographic groups. We document considerable popularity of credit cards as borrowing instruments despite their recent introduction, and a continuing parallel presence of antiquated forms of borrowing (informal store credits). There is surprisingly limited use by the young of mortgages, despite very high homeownership rates, and of car loans, despite high car ownership rates. We find evidence of considerable reliance on family transfers for the financing of education, home acquisition, and car purchase by the young. Particularly problematic for equality of opportunities is the limited ability of the young to take student loans and the reliance on their parents to do so in order to finance their post-secondary education. Finally, we have noted a tendency of Cyprus business owners to take out large loans from their business for personal use.

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Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 4-2003.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:4-2003
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  1. Michael Haliassos & Christis Hassapis & Alex Karagrigoriou & George Kyriacou & Michalis C. Michael & George Syrichas, 2001. "Assets of Cyprus Households: Lessons from the First Cyprus Survey of Consumer Finances," Working Papers 0205, Central Bank of Cyprus.
  2. Carol C. Bertaut & Michael Haliassos, 2001. "Debt Revolvers for Self Control," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 0208, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  3. Carol C. Bertaut and Michael Haliassos, 2001. "Revolvers for Self-Control," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 193, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Ana M. Aizcorbe & Arthur B. Kennickell & Kevin B. Moore, 2003. "Recent changes in U.S. family finances: evidence from the 1998 and 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-32.
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