Over-Indebtedness and Consumption Patterns in Digital Society – A Research Review

Research output: Book/ReportReport


This LUii report presents a research review of the field of over-indebtedness and consumption patterns in digital society, which addresses phenomena such as e-commerce, smart phones and their role in consumption and credit, new methods of payment, debt-incurrence and more. The research review has been produced by researchers at Lund University on behalf of the Swedish Enforcement Authority, why it also is in part using Sweden as a case study. The research was conducted during 2014 and primarily includes three sub-studies of somewhat different approaches to provide as comprehensive and accurate an overview of current research in the field as possible: 1) a bibliometric study, 2) a systematic literature review, and 3) additional searches which also include reports written in Swedish, studies and books.

A general conclusion drawn from all sub-studies is that research on over-indebtedness and research on digital development are often conducted within different disciplines that share little contact. One consequence of this, with regards to the review materials and results, is that research on potential opportunities created by digital technology in the credit and financial markets is not linked to the emergence of problematic financial situations in the individual. The potential links between these areas therefore deserves further scientific examination. For example, the results indicate that international research on debt and consumer behavior in a digital context is largely conducted from a systemic or business-oriented perspective, and deals only to a minor degree with consumer vulnerability and other negative aspects for the individual. This means that the economic/business-oriented perspective dominates in the research on debt incurrence in digital contexts. Furthermore, young adults comprise the population group that is repeatedly mentioned as particularly vulnerable to the implications of digital technology in consumption and debt.

Stefan Larsson, Head of Lund University Internet Institute (LUii), PhD in sociology of law and PhD in spatial planning, has acted as project manager for this research review. Co-researchers for this project were Hanna Carlsson, PhD in information science, and Fredrik Åström, Assoc Prof and bibliometrician.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Studies


  • over-indebtedness, debt, credit, consumption, consumer, e-commerce, e-trade, digital society, research review, bibliometry
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLund University Internet Institute
Number of pages80
ISBN (Print)978-91-982312-2-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameLUii reports

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Related research output

Hanna Carlsson, Stefan Larsson & Fredrik Åström, 2015, Lunds universitets internetinstitut (LUii). 82 p. (LUii reports; vol. 1)

Research output: Book/ReportReport

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Related activities

Larsson, S. (Keynote/plenary speaker)
2017 Mar 16

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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