Attitudes Toward Debt and Debt Behavior

56 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by Johan Almenberg

Johan Almenberg

Finansinspektionen

Annamaria Lusardi

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jenny Säve-Söderbergh

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Roine Vestman

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; Swedish House of Finance

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

We introduce a novel survey measure of attitude toward debt. Matching our survey results with panel data on Swedish household balance sheets from registry data, we show that our debt attitude measure helps explain individual variation in indebtedness as well as debt build-up and spending behavior in the period 2004–2007. As an explanatory variable, debt attitude compares well to a number of other determinants of debt, including education, risk-taking, and financial literacy. We also provide evidence that suggests that debt attitude is passed down along family lines and has a cultural element.

Keywords: Attitude Survey, Household borrowing decisions, Intergenerational transmission, personal finance, spending

JEL Classification: D14, D91, E21, G51

Suggested Citation

Almenberg, Johan and Lusardi, Annamaria and Säve-Söderbergh, Jenny and Vestman, Roine, Attitudes Toward Debt and Debt Behavior (May 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14801, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3612870

Johan Almenberg (Contact Author)

Finansinspektionen ( email )

Box 7821
Brunnsgatan 3
Stockholm
Sweden

Annamaria Lusardi

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

George Washington University School of Business
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://business.gwu.edu/profiles/annamaria-lusardi/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jenny Säve-Söderbergh

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 F
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

Roine Vestman

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ne.su.se/

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
111 60 Stockholm
Sweden

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