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Limited credit records and market outcomes

  • Margherita Bottero


    (Bank of Italy)

  • Giancarlo Spagnolo


    (SITE � Stockholm School of Economics)

Credit registers collect, store and share information regarding borrowers� past and current credit relations. Interestingly, such data is typically erased from the public records after a number of years, in accordance with privacy protection laws, which aim at providing individuals with a fresh start from past events. In order to secure credit-worthy but unlucky borrowers with a new beginning, however, these provisions end up removing all of the public information, including that possibly still relevant for screening purposes. This paper assesses such trade-off, by studying the impact of limited records on borrowers� behavior and market outcomes in a stylized credit market for unsecured loans. In this setup, limited records endogenously give rise to beneficial reputation effects in the form of higher equilibrium effort, which alleviate, rather than worsen, the distortions caused by asymmetric information. Further, we demonstrate that when moral hazard is high, 1-period records can achieve higher welfare and lead to a lower default rate than records that show all, or nothing, of the past history.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 903.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_903_13
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  1. Martin Cripps & George J Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2010. "Imperfect Monitoring and Impermanent Reputations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000060, David K. Levine.
  2. Piero Gottardi & Ronel Elul, 2007. "Bankruptcy: Is It Enough to Forgive or Must we Also Forget?," Working Papers 2007_23, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  3. James Vercammen, 2002. "Welfare-Improving Adverse Selection in Credit Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1017-1033, November.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:84:y:1970:i:3:p:488-500 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Giovanni Sartor, 2006. "Privacy, Reputation, and Trust: Some Implications for Data Protection," EUI-LAW Working Papers 4, European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law.
  6. Porqueddu Mario & Venditti Fabrizio, 2014. "Do food commodity prices have asymmetric effects on euro-area inflation?," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(4), pages 25, September.
  7. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1999. "Information Sharing, Lending and Defaults: Cross-Country Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Curtis R. Taylor, 2004. "Consumer Privacy and the Market for Customer Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 631-650, Winter.
  9. Ekmekci, Mehmet, 2011. "Sustainable reputations with rating systems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 479-503, March.
  10. Douglas W. Diamond, 1998. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 602, David K. Levine.
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