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Default, insurance, and debt over the life-cycle

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  • Athreya, Kartik B.

Abstract

The widespread use of debt and default suggests that unsecured credit markets play an important role in consumption smoothing. In this paper, I address two previously unanswered questions. First, how does policy towards debt default affect the evolution of consumption and net worth over the life-cycle? Second, how does debt default policy interact with social insurance over the life-cycle? The findings are as follows. First, US default policy appears "lax", in the sense that it creates severe credit constraints, especially for the young. Second, eliminating default will lower consumption inequality among the young, but will increase it among the old. Third, social insurance alters default risk and, in turn, loan pricing, and therefore matters for purely intertemporal smoothing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 55 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 752-774

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:55:y:2008:i:4:p:752-774

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Gordon, Grey, 2012. "Dealing with consumer default: Bankruptcy vs garnishment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages S1-S16.
  2. repec:fip:fedreq:y:2011:i:4q:p:431-450:n:vol.97no.4 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Kartik Athreya & Xuan S. Tam & Eric R. Young, 2011. "A quantitative theory of information and unsecured credit," Working Paper 08-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  4. Mankart, Jochen, 2014. "The (Un-) importance of Chapter 7 wealth exemption levels," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-16.
  5. Kartik B. Athreya & Devin Reilly, 2009. "Consumption smoothing and the measured regressivity of consumption taxes," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 75-100.
  6. Kartik B. Athreya & Urvi Neelakantan, 2011. "The cost of unanticipated household finance shocks : two examples," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 431-450.
  7. Ugo Albertazzi & Ginette Eramo & Leonardo Gambacorta & Carmelo Salleo, 2011. "Securitization is not that evil after all," BIS Working Papers 341, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Kuklik, Michal, 2010. "Health insurance reform and bankruptcy," MPRA Paper 39196, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
  9. Mankart, Jochen, 2011. "The optimal Chapter 7 exemption level in a life-cycle model with asset portfolios," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48703, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  10. Athreya, Kartik & Tam, Xuan S. & Young, Eric R., 2009. "Unsecured credit markets are not insurance markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 83-103, January.
  11. Kartik Athreya, 2012. "A Model of Credit Card Delinquency," 2012 Meeting Papers 981, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Kartik B. Athreya & Xuan S. Tam & Eric R. Young, 2009. "Are harsh penalties for default really better?," Working Paper 09-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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