Stress Testing the Private Household Sector Using Microdata

Kamil Galuščák, Petr Hlaváč, Petr Jakubík

We develop a methodology for identifying financially distressed households and use it for testing the responses to shocks to the unemployment rate, the interest rate and prices of essential expenditure in the Czech Republic. We extend the approach of Johansson and Persson (2006) for Sweden and Albacete and Fessler (2010) for Austria to allow for full labour market transitions between employment and unemployment, and, due to data availability, to account for heads and spouses within households. This improvement may lead to a higher response of household distress incidence due to the unemployment rate shock than in both Sweden and Austria, while the effects due to the interest rate shock are of similar size as in Austria. We illustrate the use of our approach for stress testing households’ ability to pay their debts using macroeconomic scenarios from the CNB’s official forecast and from the CNB’s Financial Stability Report. The results highlight the importance of using micro-level datasets in the analysis of household distress incidence, as the impact of shocks is more pronounced among lower-income households.

JEL codes: D12, D31, E17

Keywords: Ability to pay, financial surplus, household indebtedness, microdata, stress testing

Issued: January 2014

Download: CNB WP 2/2014 (pdf, 577 kB)