Using household-level debt data over 2000-2012 and local variation in inequality, we show that low-income households in high-inequality regions (zip codes, counties, states) accumulated less debt relative to their income than low-income households in lower inequality regions. We also find evidence that low-income households face higher credit prices and reduced access to credit as inequality increases. We argue that these patterns are consistent with inequality tilting credit supply away from low-income households and toward high-income households, which may have long-run implications for outcomes like homeownership or entrepreneurship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)