Evidence on the insurance effect of bankruptcy exemptions
Defaulting on one's debts when experiencing an adverse event can help insure households against unexpected income risks. But the effect of allowing default on debt levels is ambiguous, not least because lenders may restrict access to credit. Hence the optimal punishment for bankruptcy is unclear. The US states allows householders to keep a variety of assets when filing for bankruptcy - the 'bankruptcy exemptions' - and these exemptions change substantially between states and over time. By exploiting these differences this study shows that raising the exemptions (i) marginally decreases the level of unsecured debt that household's hold; (ii) makes consumption smoother. Thus, despite the effect on debt levels, the generous provisions to debtors in arrears may be helping US households to insure themselves against income risk.
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.:
- Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1993.
"Intertemporal Choice and Inequality,"
NBER Working Papers
4328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Deaton, Angus, 1991.
"Saving and Liquidity Constraints,"
Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
- 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.
- Athreya, Kartik, 2006.
"Fresh start or head start? Uniform bankruptcy exemptions and welfare,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2051-2079, November.
- Kartik Athreya, 2004. "Fresh start or head start? Uniform bankruptcy exemptions and welfare," Working Paper 03-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2004.
"Consumption inequality and partial insurance,"
IFS Working Papers
W04/28, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Pliska, Stanley R. & Ye, Jinchun, 2007. "Optimal life insurance purchase and consumption/investment under uncertain lifetime," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1307-1319, May.
- William R. Zame, 1992.
"Efficiency and the Role of Default When Security Markets are Incomplete,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
673, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Zame, William R, 1993. "Efficiency and the Role of Default When Security Markets Are Incomplete," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1142-64, December.
- William R. Zame, 1990. "Efficiency and the Role of Default When Security Markets are Incomplete," UCLA Economics Working Papers 585, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 631-49, July.
- Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
- Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, March.
- Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle White, 1996.
"Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand,"
NBER Working Papers
5653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zinman, Jonathan, 2009.
"Debit or credit?,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 358-366, February.
- Berkowitz, Jeremy & Hynes, Richard, 1999. "Bankruptcy Exemptions and the Market for Mortgage Loans," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 809-30, October.
- Qi, Min & Yang, Xiaolong, 2009. "Loss given default of high loan-to-value residential mortgages," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 788-799, May.
- Zinman, Jonathan, 2010.
"Restricting consumer credit access: Household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 546-556, March.
- Jonathan Zinman, 2008. "Restricting consumer credit access: household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap," Working Papers 08-32, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Athreya, Kartik B., 2002. "Welfare implications of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1567-1595, November.
- Daglish, Toby, 2009. "What motivates a subprime borrower to default?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 681-693, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:9:p:2247-2254. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.