IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Evidence on the insurance effect of bankruptcy exemptions

  • Grant, Charles
Registered author(s):

    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.

    If 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.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378-4266(10)00075-0
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 2247-2254

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:9:p:2247-2254
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-67, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
    7. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, December.
    8. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 631-649.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Daglish, Toby, 2009. "What motivates a subprime borrower to default?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 681-693, April.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Debit or credit?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    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: (Shamier, Wendy)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.