Decomposing the factors influencing household debt: the case of China

Yung Ching Tseng, I. Fan Hsiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study discusses the issue of household debt in China based on the data of China household finance survey completed in 2015. The quantile regression model is adopted as the key research method, and the conclusions are derived are as follows. The increase in household debt in China is significantly correlated with several financial factors, including household assets and income, as well as the socioeconomic factors of education, age and working unit, in addition to senses of security and happiness. The assets of highly indebted households influence their debt in a positive way; the influence of income on household debt decreases as the quantile increases; the householder age has a negative effect across all household quantiles, and the debt holdings are less at older ages. The influence of household educational background dramatically increases from negative to positive following the indebtedness level, suggesting that enormous debt burdens may be generated from the cross effect of disadvantages in income and educational background. By decomposing the results of the quantile regression estimations, the evidence suggests that sufficient financial knowledge is essential in avoiding the financial distress from household debt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2627-2642
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Household debt
  • financial knowledge
  • quantile regression
  • quantile regression-based decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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