The Effect of Households’ Student Debt on Life Satisfaction

Thomas Korankye, Charlene M. Kalenkoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study finds a negative effect of holding student-loan debt on the life satisfaction of household heads using longitudinal data from the 2011 to 2017 U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics and a fixed-effects modeling approach. Although debt is taken to improve future utility, it provides disutility to the head of household until it is paid off. Thus, financial planners and educators should remind their clients about the consequences of holding student-loan debt in the short term, not just the future benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-772
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Life satisfaction
  • Mundlak correction
  • Student debt
  • Student loans
  • Well-being


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