Moral and Social Constraints to Strategic Default on Mortgages
AbstractWe use survey data to study American households’ propensity to default when the value of their mortgage exceeds the value of their house even if they can afford to pay their mortgage (strategic default). We find that 26% of the existing defaults are strategic. We also find that no household would default if the equity shortfall is less than 10% of the value of the house. Yet, 17% of households would default, even if they can afford to pay their mortgage, when the equity shortfall reaches 50% of the value of their house. Besides relocation costs, the most important variables in predicting strategic default are moral and social considerations. Ceteris paribus, people who consider it immoral to default are at 77% less likely to declare their intention to do so, while people who know someone who defaulted are 82% more likely to declare their intention to do so. The willingness to default increases nonlinearly with the proportion of foreclosures in the same ZIP code. That moral attitudes toward default do not change with the percentage of foreclosures is likely to derive from a contagion effect that reduces the social stigma associated with default as defaults become more common.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7352.
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Other versions of this item:
- Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Moral and Social Constraints to Strategic Default on Mortgages," Economics Working Papers, European University Institute ECO2009/27, European University Institute.
- Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Moral and Social Constraints to Strategic Default on Mortgages," EIEF Working Papers Series 0905, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jun 2009.
- Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Moral and Social Constraints to Strategic Default on Mortgages," NBER Working Papers 15145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
- G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2009-07-17 (Business Economics)
- NEP-RMG-2009-07-17 (Risk Management)
- NEP-SOC-2009-07-17 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-URE-2009-07-17 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John Y. Campbell & Stefano Giglio & Parag Pathak, 2011.
"Forced Sales and House Prices,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2108-31, August.
- John Y. Campbell & Stefano Giglio & Parag Pathak, 2009. "Forced Sales and House Prices," NBER Working Papers 14866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Giglio, Stefano & Pathak, Parag & Campbell, John Y., 2011. "Forced Sales and House Prices," Scholarly Articles 9887623, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Quigley, John M & Van Order, Robert, 1995.
"Explicit Tests of Contingent Claims Models of Mortgage Default,"
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer,
Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 99-117, September.
- John M. Quigley., 1993. "Explicit Tests of Contingent Claims Models of Mortgage Defaults," Economics Working Papers, University of California at Berkeley 93-221, University of California at Berkeley.
- Quigley, John M., 1993. "Explicit Tests of Contingent Claims Models of Mortgage Defaults," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt3df5357v, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008.
"Negative equity and foreclosure: theory and evidence,"
Public Policy Discussion Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
08-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: Theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 234-245, September.
- Paul S. Willen & Adam Hale Shapiro & Kristopher Gerardi, 2008.
"Subprime Outcomes: Risky Mortgages, Homeownership Experiences, and Foreclosures,"
2008 Meeting Papers
345, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Kristopher Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro & Paul S. Willen, 2007. "Subprime outcomes: risky mortgages, homeownership experiences, and foreclosures," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 07-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Deng, Yongheng & Quigley, John M. & Van Order, Robert, 1999.
"Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity, and the Exercise of Mortgage Options,"
Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy
qt96r560pg, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
- Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, 2000. "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 275-308, March.
- Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, . "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 322, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
- Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
- Kerry D. Vandell, 1993. "Handing Over the Keys: A Perspective on Mortgage Default Research," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 211-246.
- Patrick Bajari & Chenghuan Sean Chu & Minjung Park, 2008. "An Empirical Model of Subprime Mortgage Default From 2000 to 2007," NBER Working Papers 14625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Strategic Default: Watch Elites Freak Out To the Trend That Isnât Happening.
by Mike in Rortybomb on 2011-01-11 17:01:15
- Strategic Default: Elites Freak Out Over Imaginary Problem
by Mike Konczal in new deal 2.0 on 2011-01-12 14:35:38
- Michael J. Seiler & David M. Harrison, 2011. "Perceived Versus Actual Susceptibility to Normative Influence in the Presence of Defaulting Landlords," Review of Behavioral Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(2), pages 55-77, November.
- Campbell, Gareth, 2010. "Leveraging the British Railway Mania: Derivatives for the Individual Investor," MPRA Paper 21822, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- John Y. Campbell, 2013.
"Mortgage Market Design,"
Review of Finance, European Finance Association,
European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-33.
- Yuan Cheng & Xuehui Han, 2013. "Does large volatility help?â€”stochastic population forecasting technology in explaining real estate price process," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 323-356, January.
- Bechlioulis, Alexandros & Brissimis, Sophocles, 2014. "Consumer default and optimal consumption decisions," MPRA Paper 56864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Chan, Sewin & Gedal, Michael & Been, Vicki & Haughwout, Andrew, 2013.
"The role of neighborhood characteristics in mortgage default risk: Evidence from New York City,"
Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier,
Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 100-118.
- Chan, Sewin & Gedal, Michael & Been, Vicki & Haughwout, Andrew, 2011. "The role of neighborhood characteristics in mortgage default risk: evidence from New York City," MPRA Paper 33941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Amir E. Khandani & Andrew W. Lo & Robert C. Merton, 2009.
"Systemic Risk and the Refinancing Ratchet Effect,"
Harvard Business School Working Papers
10-023, Harvard Business School, revised Jul 2010.
- Benjamin J. Keys & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Mortgage Financing in the Housing Boom and Bust," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 143-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel RÃ¶sch & Harald Scheule, 2011.
"Securitization rating performance and agency incentives,"
BIS Papers chapters,
in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Portfolio and risk management for central banks and sovereign wealth funds, volume 58, pages 287-314
Bank for International Settlements.
- Daniel Roesch & Harald Scheule, 2011. "Securitization Rating Performance and Agency Incentives," Working Papers 182011, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
- Gene Amromin & Jennifer Huang & Clemens Sialm & Edward Zhong, 2010.
Working Paper Series, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
WP-2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Valletta, Robert G., 2013. "House lock and structural unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 86-97.
- Campbell, John Y. & Cocco, João F., 2014.
"A model of mortgage default,"
CFS Working Paper Series
452, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Børsum, Øystein, 2010. "Contagious Mortgage Default," Memorandum 10/2010, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.