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The Nature of Credit Constraints and Human Capital

  • Lance J. Lochner
  • Alexander Monge-Naranjo

We develop a human capital model with borrowing constraints explicitly derived from government student loan (GSL) programs and private lending under limited commitment. The model helps explain the persistent strong positive correlation between ability and schooling in the United States, as well as the rising importance of family income for college attendance. It also explains the increasing share of undergraduates borrowing the GSL maximum and the rise in student borrowing from private lenders. Our framework offers new insights regarding the interaction of government and private lending, as well as the responsiveness of private credit to economic and policy changes. (JEL D14, H52, I22, I23, J24)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 2487-2529

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:6:p:2487-2529
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  1. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 37-89.
  2. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2004. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 285-315.
  3. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2007. "The Effect of Credit Constraints on the College Drop-Out Decision A Direct Approach Using a New Panel Study," NBER Working Papers 13340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dick Andrew W. & Edlin Aaron S. & Emch Eric R., 2003. "The Savings Impact of College Financial Aid," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-31, June.
  5. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2004. "Consumption and Saving over the Life Cycle: How Important are Consumer Durables?," 2004 Meeting Papers 357b, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Michael F. Lovenheim, 2011. "The Effect of Liquid Housing Wealth on College Enrollment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 741 - 771.
  7. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  8. Felicia Ionescu & Satyajit Chatterjee, 2008. "Insuring College Failure Risk," 2008 Meeting Papers 813, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  10. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2003. "Consumer bankruptcy: a fresh start," Working Papers 617, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2007. "A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1525-1589, November.
  12. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Krishna B. Kumar, 2000. "Higher Education Subsidies and Heterogeneity, A Dynamic Analysis," RCER Working Papers 472, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
  14. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "Earnings Functions and Rates of Return," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-31.
  15. Meta Brown & John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri, 2010. "A New Test of Borrowing Constraints for Education," Working Papers 2011-003, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  16. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri, 2001. "Efficient investment in children," Working Paper 0105, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  17. Lang, Kevin, 1993. "Ability Bias, Discount Rate Bias and the Return to Education," MPRA Paper 24651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Lance J. Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2011. "The Nature of Credit Constraints and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2487-2529, October.
  19. repec:oup:restud:v:63:y:1996:i:4:p:595-609 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
  21. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2000. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, and Asset Pricing with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 775-798, July.
  22. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
  23. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
  24. Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2002. "Human Capital Formation with Endogenous Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 8815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1992. "Debt constrained asset markets," Working Papers 445, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  26. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "International Business Cycles with Endogenous Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 907-928, May.
  27. Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2008. "Limited Commitment, Firm Dynamics and Aggregate Fluctuations," 2008 Meeting Papers 964, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  28. Hanushek, Eric & Charles Ka Yui Leung & Kuzey Yilmaz, 2002. "Redistribution through Education and Other Transfer Mechanisms," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 94, Royal Economic Society.
  29. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  30. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle J. White, 1997. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 217-251.
  31. Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2009. "Entrepreneurship and firm heterogeneity with limited enforcement," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 465-494, June.
  32. David Andolfatto & Martin Gervais, 2006. "Human Capital Investment and Debt Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 52-67, January.
  33. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
  34. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
  35. John Cawley & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1998. "Understanding the Role of Cognitive Ability in Accounting for the Recent Rise in the Economic Return to Education," NBER Working Papers 6388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
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