An Optimal Personal Bankruptcy Procedure and Proposed Reforms
AbstractWe investigate a new approach to the reform of U.S. personal bankruptcy law in which Chapters 7 and 13 would be combined. The proposed reform obliges debtors in bankruptcy to use part of both their wealth and their future earnings to repay debt and therefore bases the obligation to repay in bankruptcy on debtors' ability to pay from both sources. An important function of personal bankruptcy is to provide partial wealth insurance for risk-averse debtors by discharging some debt when debtors' ability to repay turns out to be low. However, the current bankruptcy system encourages debtors to file for bankruptcy even when their ability to repay is high. The proposed reform maintains the insurance function of bankruptcy but reduces debtors' incentive to take advantage of the system. Using simulation techniques, we investigate the properties of a bankruptcy reform in which both the wealth exemption and the postbankruptcy earnings exemption are optimized. We show that the proposed reform improves efficiency relative to the current system. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.
Volume (Year): 29 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/
Other versions of this item:
- Wang, H.J. & White, M., 1998. "An Optimal Personal Bankruptcy Procedure and Proposed Reform," Papers 98-07, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
- K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
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