Why do households repay their debt in UK during the COVID-19 crisis?

Mamatzakis, Emmanuel and Tsionas, Mike G. and Ongena, Steven (2023) Why do households repay their debt in UK during the COVID-19 crisis? Journal of Economic Studies. ISSN 0144-3585

Text (Mar23 UK VAR a)
Mar23_UK_VAR_a.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (651kB)


Purpose In this paper, the authors investigate whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) impacts household finances, like household debt repayments in the UK. Design/methodology/approach This paper employs a vector autoregressive (VAR) model that nests neural networks and uses Mixed Data Sampling (MIDAS) techniques. The authors use data information related to COVID-19, financial markets and household finances. Findings The authors' results show that household debt repayments' response to the first principal component of COVID-19 shocks is negative, albeit of low magnitude. However, when the authors employ specific COVID-19-related data like vaccines and tests the responses are positive, insinuating the underlying dynamic complexities. Overall, confirmed deaths and hospitalisations negatively affect household debt repayments. The authors also report low persistence in household debt repayments. Generalised impulse response functions (IRFs) confirm the main results. As draconian measures, the lockdowns are eased and the COVID-19 shocks are diminishing, and household financial data converge to the levels prior to the pandemic albeit with some lags. Originality/value To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that examines the impact of the pandemic on household debt repayments. The authors' findings show that policy response in the future should prioritise innovation of new vaccines and testing.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Economic Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
19 Apr 2023 10:30
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 01:59