The Relationship Between Credit Card Use Behavior and Household Well-Being during the Great Recession: Implications for the Ethics of Credit Use

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



general population, financial status and behavior


This article uses a random digit dial probability sample (N = 328) to examine the relationship between credit card use behaviors and household well-being during a period of severe economic recession: The Great Recession. The ability to measure the role of credit card use during a period of recession provides unique insights to the study of credit behavior because of the knowledge that all respondents have the same macroeconomic constraint. Framed by the assumptions of the permanent income hypothesis and the life-cycle savings hypothesis, multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between credit card use behaviors and three measures of household well-being: emotional well-being, financial well-being, and general household financial condition.