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An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency

  • David B. Gross

This article uses a new dataset of credit card accounts to analyze credit card delinquency, personal bankruptcy, and the stability of credit risk models. We estimate duration models for default and assess the relative importance of different variables in predicting default. We investigate how the propensity to default has changed over time, disentangling the two leading explanations for the recent increase in default rates--a deterioration in the risk composition of borrowers versus an increase in borrowers' willingness to default due to declines in default costs. Even after controlling for risk composition and economic fundamentals, the propensity to default significantly increased between 1995 and 1997. Standard default models missed an important time-varying default factor, consistent with a decline in default costs. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 15 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 319-347

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:15:y:2002:i:1:p:319-347
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  1. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Local Labor Markets And Welfare Spells: Do Demand Conditions Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 351-368, August.
  2. 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.
  3. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Jappelli, Tullio & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen & Souleles, Nicholas, 1995. "Testing for Liquidity Constraints in Euler Equations with Complementary Data Sources," CEPR Discussion Papers 1138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2001. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," NBER Working Papers 8314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fay, S. & Hurst, E. & White, M.J., 1998. "The Bankruptcy Decision: Does Stigma Matter?," Papers 98-01, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
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