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Information Technology and the Rise of Household Bankruptcy

Author

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  • Borghan Nezami Narajabad

    (Rice University)

Abstract

Several studies have attributed the rise of household bankruptcy in the past two decades to the decline of social stigma associated with default. Stigma explanations, however, cannot account for the large increase in the use of unsecured credit during this period. I explain the simultaneous increase in bankruptcy rates and unsecured credit as the result of improvements in credit-rating technologies. Using an environment where borrowers face heterogeneous default costs (unobservable by creditors), I show that such improvements will lead to agents with high default costs, i.e., "safe" borrowers, being able to borrow more. A quantitative example illustrates that this increased access to credit can be large enough to raise both equilibrium borrowing and default rates. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Borghan Nezami Narajabad, 2012. "Information Technology and the Rise of Household Bankruptcy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(4), pages 526-550, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:10-43
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2012.06.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ionescu, Felicia & Simpson, Nicole, 2016. "Default risk and private student loans: Implications for higher education policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 119-147.
    2. Verónica Balzarotti & Alejandra Anastasi, 2013. "Does Competition for Novice Borrowers Hurt Access to Finance? An Analysis in a Context of High Risk and Low Outreach," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(69), pages 101-149, December.
    3. Nakajima, Makoto, 2017. "Assessing bankruptcy reform in a model with temptation and equilibrium default," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 42-64.
    4. Igor Livshits & James C. Mac Gee & Michèle Tertilt, 2016. "The Democratization of Credit and the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1673-1710.
    5. Daphne Chen & Jake Zhao, 2017. "The Impact of Personal Bankruptcy on Labor Supply Decisions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 40-61, October.
    6. Lukasz A. Drozd & Ricardo Serrano-Padial, 2017. "Modeling the Revolving Revolution: The Debt Collection Channel," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 897-930, March.
    7. Bulent Guler, 2015. "Innovations in Information Technology and the Mortgage Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 456-483, July.
    8. Igor Livshits, 2015. "Recent Developments In Consumer Credit And Default Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 594-613, September.
    9. Athreya, Kartik B. & Tam, Xuan S. & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Loan Guarantees for Consumer Credit Markets," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 297-352.
    10. Luzzetti, Matthew N. & Neumuller, Seth, 2016. "Learning and the dynamics of consumer unsecured debt and bankruptcies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 22-39.
    11. Davis, Andrew & Kim, Jiseob, 2017. "Explaining changes in the US credit card market: Lenders are using more information," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 76-92.
    12. repec:bcr:wpaper:201462 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer bankruptcy; Information and market efficiency; Rating agencies;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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