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Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Market Competition


We document a link between U.S. credit supply and rising personal bankruptcy rates. We exploit the exogenous variation in market contestability brought on by banking deregulation-the relaxation of entry restrictions in the 1980s and 1990s-at the state level. We find deregulation explains at least 10% of the rise in bankruptcy rates. We also find that deregulation leads to increased lending, lower loss rates on loans, and higher lending productivity. Our findings indicate that increased competition prompted banks to adopt sophisticated credit rating technology, allowing for new credit extension to existing and previously excluded households. Copyright (c) 2010 the American Finance Association.

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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 65 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 655-686

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:2:p:655-686
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  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  2. David B. Gross, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 319-347, March.
  3. Adam B. Ashcraft & Astrid A. Dick & Donald P. Morgan, 2007. "The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act: means-testing or mean spirited?," Staff Reports 279, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Avery, Robert B. & Bostic, Raphael W. & Samolyk, Katherine A., 1998. "The role of personal wealth in small business finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 1019-1061, August.
  5. John H. Boyd & Gianni De Nicolã, 2005. "The Theory of Bank Risk Taking and Competition Revisited," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1329-1343, 06.
  6. Donald P. Morgan & Ian Toll, 1997. "Bad debt rising," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 3(Mar).
  7. Jith Jayaratne & Philip E. Strahan, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-670.
  8. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2006. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Discussion Papers 06-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine, 2003. "Legal institutions and financial development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3136, The World Bank.
  10. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1994. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," NBER Working Papers 4921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Allen N. Berger & W. Scott Frame & Nathan H. Miller, 2002. "Credit scoring and the availability, price, and risk of small business credit," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Sandra E. Black & Donald P. Morgan, 1999. "Meet the new borrowers," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Feb).
  13. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Astrid A. Dick, 2006. "Nationwide Branching and Its Impact on Market Structure, Quality, and Bank Performance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 567-592, March.
  16. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2002. "Entrepreneurship and Bank Credit Availability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2807-2833, December.
  17. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2000. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," NBER Working Papers 7685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Wendy Edelberg, 2003. "Risk-based pricing of interest rates in household loan markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-62, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Scott Fay & Erik Hurst & Michelle J. White, 2002. "The Household Bankruptcy Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 706-718, June.
  20. Ian Domowitz & Robert L. Sartain, 1999. "Determinants of the Consumer Bankruptcy Decision," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 403-420, 02.
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