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Testing for adverse selection and moral hazard in consumer loan markets

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  • Wendy Edelberg

Abstract

This paper explores the significance of unobservable default risk in mortgage and automobile loan markets. I develop and estimate a two-period model that allows for heterogeneous forms of simultaneous adverse selection and moral hazard. Controlling for income levels, loan size and risk aversion, I find robust evidence of adverse selection, with borrowers self-selecting into contracts with varying interest rates and collateral requirements. For example, ex-post higher-risk borrowers pledge less collateral and pay higher interest rates. Moreover, there is strongly suggestive evidence of moral hazard such that collateral is used to induce a borrower's effort to avoid repayment problems. Thus, loan terms may have a feedback effect on behavior. Also, higher-risk borrowers are more difficult to induce into exerting effort, explaining the counter-intuitive result that higher-risk borrowers sometimes pay lower interest rates than observably lower-risk borrowers.

Suggested Citation

  • Wendy Edelberg, 2004. "Testing for adverse selection and moral hazard in consumer loan markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-09
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    Cited by:

    1. William Adams & Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin, 2009. "Liquidity Constraints and Imperfect Information in Subprime Lending," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 49-84, March.
    2. Xavier Gine & Jessica Goldberg & Dean Yang, 2012. "Credit Market Consequences of Improved Personal Identification: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2923-2954, October.
    3. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries With a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1993-2008, November.
    4. Pedrosa, Jose & Do, Quy-Toan, 2008. "How does geographic distance affect credit market access in Niger ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4772, The World Bank.
    5. Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin & William Adams, 2007. "Liquidity Constraints and Their Causes: Evidence from Subprime Lending," 2007 Meeting Papers 52, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Ravn, Søren Hove, 2016. "Endogenous credit standards and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 89-111.
    7. Fu-Sheng Hung, 2009. "Explaining the nonlinear effects of financial development on economic growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 41-65, May.
    8. Melzer, Brian T. & Morgan, Donald P., 2015. "Competition in a consumer loan market: Payday loans and overdraft credit," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 25-44.

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    Loans; Personal;

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