Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mortgage Debt as Percent Household Debt

Marginal propensity to buy a house.
Household mortgage debt to total household debt.


  1. Pretty interesting graph there. Household debt was going up all the while, but housing appears to have alternated with other priorities. Not what I would have expected.

    Also, there may have been a stable range until the mid-1980s, when the pattern takes on a decided upward slant.

    Hey, I have an off-topic question for ya. You do a lot of graphs, things I never looked at. What would you use to get a graph of "wage share in the U.S." or "compensation of employees as a share of personal income"

    I guess PI, personal income. And I've looked at "compensataion of employees" but I don't remember where I got the data and I don't think FRED has it.

    The reason I ask -- I made a couple comments at Naked Keynesianism here:

    and I can't say much else about the graph there unless I look at the numbers. Any ideas?

  2. Oh, the guy got back to me.
    is compensation of employees
    (and FRED does have it, of course.)
    Thanks anyway.

  3. Art,

    The mid-1980s is a time period I have had difficulty understanding in regards to various economic trends: saving and loans crisis, Reaganomics, and oil price collapse all come to mind as contributors to any trend in that general timeframe.

    In regards to the NK post: it looks like the 1970 and 1975 recessions had impacts on the 'wage compensation' portion of personal income. Certainly there was a change in personal saving and personal saving after 1980 - corresponding to lower interest rates on saving accounts.

    One data set in the same series as W209RC1 that I like to look at is PCTR (personal current transfer receipts) - mainly composed of transfers from the government to the household sector. Definitely an interesting data series.

    1. *personal saving and personal consumption

  4. Thanks Luke. Looks like the PCTR roughly tripled as a percent of personal income over the full period. And the W209RC1 declined.

    I was a bit surprised by Matias reply at NK: "There is no trend in the 1970s..." he says. Granted, I just eyeballed his graph. But Matias and I read his graph two different ways.

    I think a lot of people put politics before graph-reading, and tend to see things in graphs that fit the "since Reagan" perspective.

    I guess I do the same, interpreting everything in terms of my view of the growing dominance of finance.

    Oh well :)

    Thanks for the FRED help.