Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Psychological Costs of Unsustainable Housing Commitments

Most of the articles I have posted on the blog about psychological impacts of adverse economic circumstances have focused on unemployment and this, in my reading, is the area where the most rigorous econometric work has been conducted. Another aspect of the recent economic situation has been the growing discussion of people who are overcommitted in terms of housing commitments. A paper in Psychological Medicine last year finds substantial negative psychological effects of housing payment problems on psychological distress. In particular, they find "For male heads of households housing payment problems and entering arrears have significant detrimental effects on mental well-being and for female heads of households longer-term housing payment problems and arrears have significant detrimental effects on mental well-being." Similar findings are shown, using the same data-set, in the Brown et al paper below.

Psychological Consequences of Unsustainable Housing Commitments

Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October. [Downloadable!] (restricted)

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