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Title:Household debt and saving during the 2007 recession PDF Logo
Authors:Chakrabarti, Rajashri
Lee, Donghoon
van der Klaauw, Wilbert
Zafar, Basit
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 482
Abstract:Using credit report records and data collected from several household surveys, we analyze changes in household debt and saving during the 2007 recession. We find that, while different segments of the population were affected in distinct ways, depending on whether they owned a home, whether they owned stocks, and whether they had secure jobs, the crisis' impact appears to have been widespread, affecting large shares of households across all age, income, and education groups. In response to their deteriorated financial situations, households reduced their average spending and increased their saving. This increase in saving - at least in 2009 - did not materialize through an increase in contributions to retirement and savings accounts. If anything, such contributions actually declined on average during that year. Instead, the higher saving rate appears to reflect a considerable decline in household debt, as households paid down mortgage debt in particular. At the end of 2009, individuals expected to continue increasing their saving and paying down of debt, which is consistent with what we have observed so far in 2010. In contrast, consumers were pessimistic about the availability of credit, expecting it to become harder to obtain during 2010.
Subjects:household debt and saving
2007 recession
credit access
mortgage debt
JEL:G01
D14
D12
D91
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Staff Reports, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

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