Johan Almenberg, Annamaria Lusardi, Jenny Säve-Söderbergh, Roine Vestman, 27 October 2018

Household indebtedness is high in many countries, and continues to rise. This column uses data from Sweden to argue that evolving attitudes toward debt may help explain the observed increase. Individuals who report being comfortable with debt have considerably more of it, and they are more likely to have parents who were also comfortable with debt. For others, discomfort with debt may act as a self-imposed borrowing constraint. 

David Cashin, Takashi Unayama, 18 June 2016

Japan’s prime minister recently announced that a planned 2% VAT increase would be postponed from 2017 to 2019. This column explores how Japanese household consumption adjusted to a VAT increase that was announced in 2013 and implemented in 2014. Household consumption fell by around 4% upon announcement and 1% upon implementation, suggesting that most of the negative impact of a VAT rate increase occurs at the time of the announcement. 

Fritz Foley, 05 August 2008

Crime rises when US welfare recipients run short of cash at the end of the month. This column discusses research that links the timing of financially-motivated crime and the timing of welfare payments. Cities that make monthly welfare payments see a clear monthly crime cycle, whereas cities that spread out the payments do not.

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