Household debt in OECD countries: stylised facts and policy issues


OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.


Household debt in OECD countries

Stylised facts and policy issues

Household debt has risen markedly since the turn of the century and stands at a historically high level in most OECD countries. This paper offers an overview of developments in household debt over the past decades across a large sample of OECD countries, highlighting both common trends and country specificities. It examines the vulnerabilities associated with high household debt for households, the financial system and the wider economy. Finally, it describes the challenges faced by policymakers at the current juncture and outlines responses in terms of monetary, micro and macro-prudential, and housing policies.


English

Keywords: mortgages, housing policies, household debt, financial stability, macroprudential policy, housing market, monetary policy

JEL:
E21: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth;
R31: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location / Housing Supply and Markets;
G21: Financial Economics / Financial Institutions and Services / Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages;
G28: Financial Economics / Financial Institutions and Services / Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation;
R21: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Household Analysis / Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Housing Demand;
E52: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit / Monetary Policy;
D14: Microeconomics / Household Behavior and Family Economics / Household Saving; Personal Finance