Houle’s work addresses broad themes related to social inequality and population health and well-being. More recently, he has focused on issues related to rising debt and the Great Recession. Over the past several decades, the United States has witnessed a great deal of deregulation and an expansion of access to credit. However, little is known about how these policy changes that lead to a rapid expansion of consumer debt have impacted social inequality and well-being. In his most recent research, he addresses these topics and explores how rising debt is linked to patterns of social inequality, as well as how debt and the great recession are linked to population health and mental health.