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.
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.
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.
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.:
- 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.
- Kartik B. Athreya, 2004.
"Fresh start or head start? Uniform bankruptcy exemptions and welfare,"
03-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- 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.
- Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994.
"Intertemporal Choice and Inequality,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-67, June.
- Angus Deaton, 1989.
"Saving and Liquidity Constraints,"
NBER Working Papers
3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Daglish, Toby, 2009. "What motivates a subprime borrower to default?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 681-693, April.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2004.
"Consumption inequality and partial insurance,"
IFS Working Papers
W04/28, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- 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.
- Jonathan Zinman, 2005.
"Debit or credit?,"
Conference Series ; [Proceedings],
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- 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.
- 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.
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.