Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies
AbstractPersonal bankruptcies in the United States have increased dramatically, rising from 1.4 per thousand working age adults in 1970 to 8.5 in 2002. We use a heterogeneous agent life-cycle model with competitive lenders to evaluate several commonly offered explanations. We find that increased uncertainty (income shocks, expense uncertainty) cannot account quantitatively for the rise in bankruptcies. Instead, the rise in filings appears mainly to reflect changes in the credit market environment: a decrease in the transaction cost of lending and in the cost of bankruptcy. We also argue that the abolition of usury laws and other legal changes were unimportant. (JEL D14, E44, G21, G28)
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.
Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Other versions of this item:
- Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2006. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Discussion Papers 06-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2006. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20066, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
- Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michèle Tertilt, 2007. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," NBER Working Papers 13363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Personal Finance
- E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
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