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How much debtors' punishment?

  • Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de
  • Funchal, Bruno

This paper investigates how the bankruptcy exemptions applied by the Personal Bankruptcy Law in each American state a§ect the aggregated level of individuals and small businessesí loans. Higher levels of bankruptcy exemptions imply in a lenient rule, motivating debtors to Öle for bankruptcy, what makes lenders worsen the terms of credit. On the other hand, lower levels of exemptions imply in a harsh punishment to debtors, inhibiting their demand for credit fearing a possible bankruptcy by bad luck. ConÖrming the theoretical claims, empirical tests show the existence of a non-monotonic shape in the relationship between the bankruptcy exemptions and the amount of credit to individuals and small businesses, where the optimal level of exemptions should be neither too high nor too low. Since the majority of the states in U.S. do not apply the optimal level, an intervention that brings the exemption level closer to the optimal one can be credit and welfare enhancing.

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File URL: http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/dspace/bitstream/10438/788/1/2067.pdf
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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 615.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:615
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  1. Lin, Emily Y. & White, Michelle J., 2001. "Bankruptcy and the Market for Mortgage and Home Improvement Loans," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 138-162, July.
  2. White, M.J., 1998. "Why Don't More Households File for Bankruptcy?," Papers 98-03, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  3. Arturo Galindo, 2001. "Creditor Rights and the Credit Market: Where Do We Stand?," Research Department Publications 4259, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Reint Gropp & John Karl Scholz & Michelle White, 1996. "Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand," NBER Working Papers 5653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peterson, Richard L. & Aoki, Kiyomi, 1984. "Bankruptcy filings before and after implementation of the bankruptcy reform law," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 95-105, February.
  6. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos & Martin Shubik, 1988. "Default and Efficiency in a General Equilibrium Model with Incomplete Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 879R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1989.
  7. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos & Martin Shubik, 2001. "Default and Punishment in General Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1304R5, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Mar 2004.
  8. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  9. A. Araujo & M. R. Páscoa & P. K. Monteiro, 1997. "Incomplete markets, continuum of states and default," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 11(1), pages 205-213.
  10. Dubey, Pradeep & Shubik, Martin, 1979. "Bankruptcy and optimality in a closed trading mass economy modelled as a non-cooperative game," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 115-134, July.
  11. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  12. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  13. Berkowitz, Jeremy & Hynes, Richard, 1999. "Bankruptcy Exemptions and the Market for Mortgage Loans," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 809-30, October.
  14. White, Michelle J, 1998. "Why Don't More Households File for Bankruptcy?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 205-31, October.
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