While the growth of household debt has been instrumental in the creation of the recent bubbles, debt disposal also plays an important role in shaping the scope and depth of busts. Much has been written about debt and leverage since the 2008 global financial crisis. Debt-downsizing, however, received little attention. Deleveraging has the potential to reinstitute stability but it can also create a drag on economic recovery. This paper investigates the spatial patterns of deleveraging for the first time in the context of English regions, Wales and Scotland based on a multi-level framework that should be applicable to countries and regions beyond these three countries. Using longitudinal household survey data and reconstituting space through this multilevel framework, we show that deleveraging has been highly uneven and short-lived across space and time. This outcome is shaped by three major factors: individuals’ / households’ socio-economic position, how their regions are affected by the boom-and-bust cycle and how governments’ crisis management programmes take effect in each region.
- Unsecured debt