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Reducing Strategic Default in a Financial Crisis

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Abstract

We document that increasing penalties for default reduces strategic default in financial crises by exploiting the 2009 changes to Canadian consumer insolvency regulations. Our novelty is that the incentives from increasing penalties for default operate in the opposite direction from incentives in more typical financial crisis policy interventions, which increase the liquidity of debtors. We can identify strategic default because our policy intervention is independent of debtors’ liquidity and initial selection into long-term debt contracts. Our results imply that even insolvent debtors can be incentivized to reduce default during financial crises without the typical interventions, which increase debtors’ liquidity

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  • Sumit Agarwal & Slava Mikhed & Barry Scholnick & Man Zhang, 2022. "Reducing Strategic Default in a Financial Crisis," Working Papers 21-36, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:93327
    DOI: 10.21799/frbp.wp.2021.36
    Note: REVISED August 2022. Original paper was dated 11-08-2021
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    strategic default; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G51 - Financial Economics - - Household Finance - - - Household Savings, Borrowing, Debt, and Wealth

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