Personal Bankruptcy: Reconciling Adverse Events and Strategic Filing Hypotheses Using Heterogeneity in Filing Types
Personal bankruptcies have continued to rise even after passage of a comprehensive reform designed to curb strategic use of bankruptcy. We formalize a distinction between strategic filing and adverse events filing by testing whether consumers manipulate their debt and filing decision or not. Test results are consistent with the adverse events hypothesis and are replicated using both PSID and SCF data. Extending the analysis to allow for both types, there is evidence of heterogeneity in filing types, consistent with both hypotheses. On average, approximately 16 percent of households are more likely to behave as strategic types and 84 percent as adverse events types.
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|Date of revision:||Oct 2012|
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