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How Credit Constraints Impact Job Finding Rates, Sorting & Aggregate Output

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  • Kyle Herkenhoff
  • Gordon Phillips
  • Ethan Cohen-Cole

Abstract

We empirically and theoretically examine how consumer credit access affects dis- placed workers. Empirically, we link administrative employment histories to credit reports. We show that an increase in credit limits worth 10% of prior annual earnings allows individuals to take .15 to 3 weeks longer to find a job. Conditional on finding a job, they earn more and work at more productive firms. We develop a labor sorting model with credit to provide structural estimates of the impact of credit on employ- ment outcomes, which we find are similar to our empirical estimates. We use the model to understand the impact of consumer credit on the macroeconomy. We find that if credit limits tighten during a downturn, employment recovers quicker, but output and productivity remain depressed. This is because when limits tighten, low-asset, low- productivity job losers cannot self-insure. Therefore, they search less thoroughly and take more accessible jobs at less productive firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Herkenhoff & Gordon Phillips & Ethan Cohen-Cole, 2016. "How Credit Constraints Impact Job Finding Rates, Sorting & Aggregate Output," Working Papers 16-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:16-25
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Caria & Grant Gordon & Maximilian Kasy & Simon Quinn & Soha Shami & Alexander Teytelboym, 2020. "An Adaptive Targeted Field Experiment: Job Search Assistance for Refugees in Jordan," CESifo Working Paper Series 8535, CESifo.
    2. Abebe, Girum & Caria, Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel & Falco, Paolo & Franklin, Simon & Quinn, Simon, 2017. "Anonymity of distance? Job search and labour market exclusion in a growing African city," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86573, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Kristle Romero Cortes & Andrew Glover & Murat Tasci, 2016. "The Unintended Consequences of Employer Credit Check Bans on Labor and Credit Markets," Working Papers 201625R2, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. Marieke Bos & Emily Breza & Andres Liberman, 2018. "The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(6), pages 2005-2037.
    5. Kyle Herkenhoff & Lee Ohanian, 2019. "The Impact of Foreclosure Delay on U.S. Employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 63-83, January.
    6. Dean Corbae & Andrew Glover, 2018. "Employer Credit Checks: Poverty Traps versus Matching Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 25005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Peter Ganong & Pascal Noel, 2019. "Consumer Spending During Unemployment: Positive and Normative Implications," Working Papers 2019-006, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    8. Randall Wright & Philipp Kircher & Benoit Julîen & Veronica Guerrieri, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," NBER Working Papers 23884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Levander, Mats, 2019. "Financial Buffers, Unemployment Duration and Replacement Labor Income," Working Paper Series 379, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    10. Brown, Jennifer & Matsa, David A., 2020. "Locked in by leverage: Job search during the housing crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(3), pages 623-648.
    11. Benjamin Griffy, 2018. "Borrowing Constraints, Search, and Life-Cycle Inequality," Discussion Papers 18-01, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    12. Shouyong Shi & Gaston Chaumont, 2017. "Wealth Accumulation, On the Job Search and Inequality," 2017 Meeting Papers 128, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Cox, James C. & Kreisman, Daniel & Dynarski, Susan, 2020. "Designed to fail: Effects of the default option and information complexity on student loan repayment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    14. Peter Ganong & Pascal J. Noel, 2019. "Consumer Spending During Unemployment: Positive and Normative Implications," NBER Working Papers 25417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Fos, Vyacheslav & Hamdi, Naser & Kalda, Ankit & Nickerson, Jordan, 2019. "Gig-Labor: Trading Safety Nets for Steering Wheels," CEPR Discussion Papers 13885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. J. Carter Braxton & Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2018. "Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance," 2018 Meeting Papers 564, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Ruud Gerards & Riccardo Welters, 2020. "Liquidity Constraints, Unemployed Job Search and Labour Market Outcomes," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(3), pages 625-646, June.
    18. Jiyeon Kim, 2019. "Skill-Biased Technological Change, Inequality, and the Role of Retraining," Working Paper 7116, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    19. Abebe, Girum & Caria, Stefano & Fafchamps, Marcel & Falco, Paolo & Franklin, Simon & Quinn, Simon, 2017. "Anonymity of distance? Job search and labour market exclusion in a growing African city," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86573, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. A. Stefano Caria, 2020. "An Adaptive Targeted Field Experiment: Job Search Assistance for Refugees in Jordan," CSAE Working Paper Series 2020-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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