Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Income InequalityWhy It Matters and Why Most Economists Didn't Notice$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Matthew P Drennan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300209587

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300209587.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 07 April 2020

Consumers’ Shift to Debt

Consumers’ Shift to Debt

(p.35) IV Consumers’ Shift to Debt
Income Inequality

Matthew P. Drennan

Yale University Press

Debt of households has been rising rapidly since 1995. The debt to income ratio of the bottom 95 percent of the income distribution has risen well above 140 percent. The same measure for the top five percent has been stable near 60 percent for 25 years. Low interest rates, easy credit terms, subprime mortgages, and mortgage refinancings have all stimulated consumer borrowing. The housing bubble, nationwide, encouraged consumers to extract cash from their properties. Panel regressions relating per capita household debt to declining income shares by state of the bottom 80 percent show that as income shares decline household debt rises. Economic insecurity objectively measured has been rising. The share of household budgets spent on the necessities of housing, health care and education have risen for all quintiles. Prices of those three have exceeded inflation for 20 years. Stagnant incomes and rising prices for those necessities have lured households to take on more debt to sustain their standard of living.

Keywords:   Household debt, Subprime mortgages, Mortgage debt, Foreclosures, Economic insecurity, Consumer price index

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.