Publié le 08/01/2024

Over-indebted households: how France changed its philosophy

Find the new article by Ydriss ZIANE, Senior Lecturer HDR at Sorbonne Business School.


"What to do with credit, but risk it?"

The question posed by Jean-Paul Sartre in Le Diable et le Bon Dieu in 1951 aptly illustrates the problem that drives every "homo consumericus" that we are, constrained by our purchasing power but also driven by our desire to buy and the strong temptations of consumer society. The supply of goods and services, and of credit to finance them at all costs, is ever more abundant.

Debt is useful for financing expensive housing or equipment, as long as the balance between interest (or financial charges) and "living expenses" is assured and information is accurate for the borrower. Nevertheless, overindebtedness has always been a major socio-economic issue. On an individual level first, the situation is often associated with a sense of failure and shame that leads some not to talk about it around them, or even not to seek help from the public authorities. [...]

> Consult the full article in french on The Conversation