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The Persistence of Financial Distress

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  • Athreya, Kartik B.
  • Mustre-del-Rio, Jose

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

  • Sanchez, Juan M.

Abstract

Using recently available proprietary panel data, we show that while many (35%) US consumers experience fi nancial distress at some point in the life cycle, most of the events of nancial distress are primarily concentrated in a much smaller proportion of consumers in persistent trouble. Roughly 10% of consumers are distressed for more than a quarter of the life cycle, and less than 10% of borrowers account for half of all distress events. These facts can be largely accounted for in a straightforward extension of a workhorse model of defaultable debt that accommodates a simple form of heterogeneity in time preference but not otherwise.

Suggested Citation

  • Athreya, Kartik B. & Mustre-del-Rio, Jose & Sanchez, Juan M., 2017. "The Persistence of Financial Distress," Research Working Paper RWP 17-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp17-15
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.18651/RWP2017-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fatih Guvenen, 2009. "An Empirical Investigation of Labor Income Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 58-79, January.
    2. Fulford, Scott L. & Schuh, Scott, 2017. "Credit card utilization and consumption over the life cycle and business cycle," Working Papers 17-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    4. Marianna Brunetti & Elena Giarda & Costanza Torricelli, 2016. "Is Financial Fragility a Matter of Illiquidity? An Appraisal for Italian Households," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(4), pages 628-649, December.
    5. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Corbae, Dean & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2008. "A finite-life private-information theory of unsecured consumer debt," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 149-177, September.
    6. Gorbachev, Olga & Luengo-Prado, Maria Jose, 2016. "The credit card debt puzzle: the role of preferences, credit risk, and financial literacy," Working Papers 16-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    7. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
    8. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
    9. Annamaria Lusardi, 2011. "Americans' Financial Capability," NBER Working Papers 17103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Default; Fi nancial distress; Consumer credit; credit card debt;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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