Investigating the impact of auto loans on unemployment: the US experience

Emmanuel Apergis, Nicholas Apergis, Weiwei Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the impact of automobile loan debt on US unemployment. Individuals with heterogeneous economic positions deem automobiles as important durable goods for unemployment exit and expected wage increases. The methodological approach makes use of an Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) Bound Testing modelling approach to document a negative and significant relationship between auto loans and unemployment. The results survive certain robustness tests, while they seem to confirm certain theoretical arguments posed in the literature, such as that the credit mechanism that dominates the transmission mechanism of monetary policy (credit shocks have a profound significant link with unemployment), while they seem to mitigate the role of alternative theories (where levered households suffer from a ‘debt overhang’ problem that distorts their preferences, making them demand high wages, and the ‘vacancy-posting’ effect) which imply that loans lead to high unemployment. The findings seem to provide significant recommendations to monetary policy makers on strengthening the banking services industry, providing an alternative to monetary policy for labour market intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6306-6319
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number58
Early online date28 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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