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Keywords:household debt 

Journal Article
Asset Diversification and Low Debt Are the Keys to Building and Maintaining Wealth

Greatly expanded access to home mortgages during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s appeared to make the American dream a reality for millions of families. Homeownership was attainable by many who, for the first time, were able to take out a mortgage with an extremely low or no down payment ? even if they had a blemished credit history or none at all. For those with access to their accumulated home equity through mortgage refinancing or other home-secured borrowing, as well as to other sources of credit, lack of available cash no longer meant that they had to delay making routine purchases, buying a ...
Cascade , Volume 1

Report
Household leveraging and deleveraging

U.S. households' debt skyrocketed between 2000 and 2007, but has since been falling. This leveraging and deleveraging cycle cannot be accounted for by the liberalization and subsequent tightening of mortgage credit standards that occurred during the period. We base this conclusion on a quantitative dynamic general equilibrium model calibrated using macroeconomic aggregates and microeconomic data from the Survey of Consumer Finances. From the perspective of the model, the credit cycle is more likely due to factors that impacted house prices more directly, thus affecting the availability of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 602

Discussion Paper
The Student Loan Landscape

Student loans have recently attracted a huge amount of attention from the press and policymakers. In this post, the first in our three-part series this week, we’ll use our Consumer Credit Panel dataset, a representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data, to describe the landscape of the outstanding U.S. student loan portfolio. Much of our discussion will address updates to several graphs that we’ve presented before, most recently in a 2014 staff report, “Measuring Student Debt and Its Performance”; readers can find more detail there. We’ll also update some earlier ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150218

Working Paper
Does Greater Inequality Lead to More Household Borrowing? New Evidence from Household Data

One suggested hypothesis for the dramatic rise in household borrowing that preceded the financial crisis is that low-income households increased their demand for credit to finance higher consumption expenditures in order to "keep up" with higher-income households. Using household level data on debt accumulation during 2001-2012, we show that low-income households in high-inequality regions accumulated less debt relative to income than their counterparts in lower-inequality regions, which negates the hypothesis. We argue instead that these patterns are consistent with supply-side ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-1

Newsletter
The dynamic relationship between global debt and output

Given the ramifications of indebtedness for global growth, researchers and policymakers are keenly interested in the mechanisms underlying the linkages between debt and economic output. In our research, summarized in this article, we find that a debt shock adversely affects future economic output, and the impact is most pronounced in developing countries and in countries with a fixed exchange rate regime. This information and related results from the study are useful for policymakers considering appropriate levels of debt as well as an exchange rate regime that is most conducive to economic ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 457 , Pages 5

Working Paper
Saving Constraints, Debt, and the Credit Market Response to Fiscal Stimulus

We document that the interest rate response to fiscal stimulus (IRRF) is lower in countries with high inequality or high household debt. To interpret this evidence we develop a model in which households take on debt to maintain a consumption threshold (saving constraint). Now debt-burdened, these households use additional income to deleverage. In economies with more debt-burdened households, increases in government spending tighten credit conditions less (relax credit conditions more), leading to smaller increases (larger declines) in the interest rate. Our theoretical framework predicts that ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-07

Report
Modigliani Meets Minsky: Inequality, Debt, and Financial Fragility in America, 1950-2016

This paper studies the secular increase in U.S. household debt and its relation to growing income inequality and financial fragility. We exploit a new household-level data set that covers the joint distributions of debt, income, and wealth in the United States over the past seven decades. The data show that increased borrowing by middle-class families with low income growth played a central role in rising indebtedness. Debt-to-income ratios have risen most dramatically for households between the 50th and 90th percentiles of the income distribution. While their income growth was low, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 924

Discussion Paper
Just Released: A Look at Borrowing, Repayment, and Bankruptcy Rates by Age

Household debt balances increased in the third quarter of 2018, a seventeenth consecutive increase. Total debt balances reached $13.51 trillion, a level more than 20 percent above the trough reached in 2013, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit from the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data. With today’s report we begin publishing a new set of charts that depict debt and repayment outcomes by the age of the borrower. The report and this analysis are based on the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a 5 percent sample of anonymized Equifax ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20181116b

Report
The Effects of the saving and banking glut on the U.S. economy

We use a quantitative equilibrium model with houses, collateralized debt, and foreign borrowing to study the impact of global imbalances on the U.S. economy in the 2000s. Our results suggest that the dynamics of foreign capital flows account for between one-fourth and one-third of the increase in U.S. house prices and household debt that preceded the financial crisis. The key to these findings is that the model generates the sustained low level of interest rates observed over that period.
Staff Reports , Paper 648

Report
A simple model of subprime borrowers and credit growth

The surge in credit and house prices that preceded the Great Recession was particularly pronounced in ZIP codes with a higher fraction of subprime borrowers (Mian and Sufi 2009). We present a simple model of prime and subprime borrowers distributed across geographic locations, which can reproduce this stylized fact as a result of an expansion in the supply of credit. Owing to their low incomes, subprime households are constrained in their ability to meet interest payments and hence sustain debt. As a result, when the supply of credit increases and interest rates fall, they take on ...
Staff Reports , Paper 766

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