ST. LOUIS ― How big an effect does consumer debt have on families and the U.S. economy? Are there “tipping points” where that debt changes from helpful to harmful? The Center for Household Financial Stability at the St. Louis Federal Reserve set out to answer these questions at a June research roundtable in New York.
The papers from that roundtable, along with an executive summary of the findings, now have been released on the Center’s website.
“The roundtable revealed a number of original, fascinating and, sometimes, counterintuitive research findings that we hope will inform future research and public policy,” said Center Director Ray Boshara. The roundtable was hosted by The Century Foundation and organized in partnership with the Private Debt Project of the Governor’s Woods Foundation.
“Our view is that the debt side of the balance sheet has been relatively understudied but increasingly recognized as critical to the well-being of families and performance of the U.S. economy,” said Boshara.
The findings, papers and authors include:
“It’s not just individual behavior that may determine a family debt tipping point,” said Boshara. “Systemic, demographic and sociological mechanisms may propel disadvantaged families to a negative tipping point while other institutional mechanisms may drive an advantaged family to a positive one.”To read the executive summary and full papers, visit the Center for Household Financial Stability online. For media inquiries, please contact Laura Taylor at the St. Louis Fed at 314-444-8783 or firstname.lastname@example.org.