A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default
We study, theoretically and quantitatively, the general equilibrium of an economy in which households smooth consumption by means of both a riskless asset and unsecured loans with the option to default. The default option resembles a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Competitive financial intermediaries offer a menu of loan sizes and interest rates wherein each loan makes zero profits. We prove the existence of a steady-state equilibrium and characterize the circumstances under which a household defaults on its loans. We show that our model accounts for the main statistics regarding bankruptcy and unsecured credit while matching key macroeconomic aggregates, and the earnings and wealth distributions. We use this model to address the implications of a recent policy change that introduces a form of "means testing" for households contemplating a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. We find that this policy change yields large welfare gains. Copyright The Econometric Society 2007.
Volume (Year): 75 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Phone: 1 212 998 3820|
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: https://www.econometricsociety.org/publications/econometrica/access/ordering-back-issues Email: |
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:75:y:2007:i:6:p:1525-1589. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.