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Information Technology and the Rise of Household Bankruptcy

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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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    Cited by:

    1. Sumit Agarwal & Jia He & Tien Foo Sing & Jian Zhang, 2018. "Gender Gap in Personal Bankruptcy Risks: Empirical Evidence from Singapore [Large sample properties of matching estimators for average treatment effects]," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 22(2), pages 813-847.
    2. Kyle F Herkenhoff, 2019. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Unemployment," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 86(6), pages 2605-2642.
    3. 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.
    4. Gajendran Raveendranathan & Georgios Stefanidis, 2020. "The Unprecedented Fall in U.S. Revolving Credit," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-05, McMaster University.
    5. Yongsung Chang & Yena Park, 2021. "Optimal Taxation with Private Insurance [Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving]," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 88(6), pages 2766-2798.
    6. Satyajit c & Dean Corbae & Kyle Dempsey & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2020. "A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. 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.
    8. Gajendran Raveendranathan, 2018. "Improved Matching, Directed Search, and Bargaining in the Credit Card Market," 2018 Meeting Papers 112, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Kyle Dempsey & José‐Víctor Ríos‐Rull, 2023. "A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 91(5), pages 1803-1840, September.
    10. Igor Livshits & James C. Mac Gee & Michèle Tertilt, 2016. "The Democratization of Credit and the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 83(4), pages 1673-1710.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Makoto Nakajima, 2013. "A tale of two commitments: equilibrium default and temptation," Working Papers 14-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    14. 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.
    15. Igor Livshits, 2015. "Recent Developments In Consumer Credit And Default Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 594-613, September.
    16. Raveendranathan, Gajendran, 2020. "Revolving credit lines and targeted search," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    17. Kartik B. Athreya & Xuan S. Tam & Eric Young, 2014. "Loan Guarantees for Consumer Credit Markets," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 297-352.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Danisewicz, Piotr & Elard, Ilaf, 2023. "The real effects of financial technology: Marketplace lending and personal bankruptcy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).
    21. Jonathan Bauchet & David Evans, 2019. "Personal Bankruptcy Determinants Among U.S. Households During the Peak of the Great Recession," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 577-591, December.
    22. Juan M. Sánchez, 2018. "The Information Technology Revolution And The Unsecured Credit Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 914-930, April.
    23. Bulent Guler & Yasin Kursat Onder & Temel Taskin, 2022. "Asymmetric Information and Sovereign Debt Disclosure," CAEPR Working Papers 2022-004 Classification-E, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer bankruptcy; Information and market efficiency; Rating agencies;
    All these keywords.

    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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