IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mcm/deptwp/2020-05.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Unprecedented Fall in U.S. Revolving Credit

Author

Listed:
  • Gajendran Raveendranathan
  • Georgios Stefanidis

Abstract

Revolving credit in the U.S. declined drastically in the last decade after several years of upward trending growth. We show that the Ability to Pay provision of the Credit CARD Act of 2009, which places restrictions on credit card limits, accounts for this decline. Extending a model of revolving credit to analyze this policy, we account for changes in credit statistics by income and age. Although the goal was consumer protection, the policy has led to welfare losses. Even consumers with time inconsistent preferences who could benefit from tighter credit constraints are worse off. An alternative policy considered by policymakers - an interest rate cap - improves welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Gajendran Raveendranathan & Georgios Stefanidis, 2020. "The Unprecedented Fall in U.S. Revolving Credit," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-05, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2020-05
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://socialsciences.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2020-05.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Rising indebtedness and temptation: A welfare analysis," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 3(2), pages 257-288, July.
    2. Jaromir B. Nosal & Lukasz A. Drozd, 2008. "Competing for Customers: A Search Model of the Market for Unsecured Credit," 2008 Meeting Papers 274, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 165-193, April.
    4. Victor Rios-Rull & Dean Corbae: & Satyajit Chatterjee, 2011. "A Theory of Credit Scoring and the Competitive Pricing of Default Risk," 2011 Meeting Papers 1115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Kyle F Herkenhoff, 2019. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(6), pages 2605-2642.
    6. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2013. "Credit limits and bankruptcy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 469-472.
    7. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Neale Mahoney & Johannes Stroebel, 2015. "Regulating Consumer Financial Products: Evidence from Credit Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 111-164.
    8. Borghan Nezami Narajabad, 2012. "Information Technology and the Rise of Household Bankruptcy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(4), pages 526-550, October.
    9. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michèle Tertilt, 2007. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 402-418, March.
    10. David B. Gross, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 319-347, March.
    11. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2005. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000643, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    13. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
    14. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
    15. Dean Corbae & Andrew Glover, 2018. "Employer Credit Checks: Poverty Traps versus Matching Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 25005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kartik Athreya & Xuan S. Tam & Eric R. Young, 2012. "A Quantitative Theory of Information and Unsecured Credit," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 153-183, July.
    17. Kartik Arthreya & Juan Sanchez & Xuan Tam & Eric Young, 2015. "Labor Market Upheaval, Default Regulation, and Consumer Debt," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(1), pages 32-52, January.
    18. Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Where Is The Missing Credit Card Debt? Clues And Implications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(2), pages 249-265, June.
    19. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2016. "On the optimal provision of social insurance: Progressive taxation versus education subsidies in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 72-98.
    20. Scott Fay & Erik Hurst & Michelle J. White, 2002. "The Household Bankruptcy Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 706-718, June.
    21. Nakajima, Makoto, 2017. "Assessing bankruptcy reform in a model with temptation and equilibrium default," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 42-64.
    22. Ricardo Serrano-Padial & Lukasz Drozd, 2014. "On Prepayment and Rollover Risk in the US Credit Card Market," 2014 Meeting Papers 215, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    23. Raveendranathan, Gajendran, 2020. "Revolving credit lines and targeted search," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    24. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2007. "A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1525-1589, November.
    25. Igor Livshits & James C. Mac Gee & Michèle Tertilt, 2016. "The Democratization of Credit and the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1673-1710.
    26. Lukasz A. Drozd & Ricardo Serrano-Padial, 2017. "Modeling the Revolving Revolution: The Debt Collection Channel," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 897-930, March.
    27. 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.
    28. Leonardo Martinez & Juan Hatchondo, 2017. "Credit Risk without Commitment," 2017 Meeting Papers 1326, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    29. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Gajendran Raveendranathan, 2019. "Who Bears the Welfare Costs of Monopoly? The Case of the Credit Card Industry," Working Papers 2019-071, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    30. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Nature of Countercyclical Income Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 621-660.
    31. Unknown, 1986. "Letters," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 1(4), pages 1-9.
    32. Exler, Florian & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "Consumer Debt and Default: A Macroeconomic Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 14425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    33. J. Carter Braxton & Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2018. "Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance," 2018 Meeting Papers 564, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    34. Ausubel, Lawrence M, 1991. "The Failure of Competition in the Credit Card Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 50-81, March.
    35. Adrien Auclert & Kurt Mitman, 2018. "Bankruptcy and Aggregate Demand," 2018 Meeting Papers 1085, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    36. Lawrence Santucci, 2015. "A tale of two vintages: credit limit management before and after the CARD act and Great Recession," Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers 15-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    37. Jonathan D. Fisher, 2019. "Who Files for Personal Bankruptcy in the United States?," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 2003-2026, December.
    38. Mateos-Planas, Xavier & Seccia, Giulio, 2006. "Welfare implications of endogenous credit limits with bankruptcy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2081-2115, November.
    39. Zachary Bethune & Guillaume Rocheteau & Peter Rupert, 2015. "Aggregate Unemployment and Household Unsecured Debt," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(1), pages 77-100, January.
    40. Lukasz Drozd & Michal Kowalik, 2019. "Credit Cards and the Great Recession: The Collapse of Teasers," 2019 Meeting Papers 1047, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Raveendranathan, Gajendran, 2020. "Revolving credit lines and targeted search," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    2. Exler, Florian & Hansak, Alexander, 2021. "Naïve Consumers and Financial Mistakes," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242359, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Raveendranathan, Gajendran, 2020. "Revolving credit lines and targeted search," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    2. Gajendran Raveendranathan, 2018. "Improved Matching, Directed Search, and Bargaining in the Credit Card Market," Department of Economics Working Papers 2018-05, McMaster University.
    3. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Gajendran Raveendranathan, 2019. "Who Bears the Welfare Costs of Monopoly? The Case of the Credit Card Industry," Working Papers 2019-071, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Gajendran Raveendranathan & Georgios Stefanidis, 2022. "Designing “Win-Win” Rate Caps," Department of Economics Working Papers 2022-03, McMaster University.
    5. Igor Livshits, 2015. "Recent Developments In Consumer Credit And Default Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 594-613, September.
    6. Kyle F Herkenhoff, 2019. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(6), pages 2605-2642.
    7. Nakajima, Makoto, 2017. "Assessing bankruptcy reform in a model with temptation and equilibrium default," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 42-64.
    8. J. Carter Braxton & Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2018. "Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance," 2018 Meeting Papers 564, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 165-193, April.
    10. Daphne Chen & Jake Zhao, 2017. "The Impact of Personal Bankruptcy on Labor Supply Decisions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 40-61, October.
    11. Florian Exler & Michèle Tertilt, 2020. "Consumer Debt and Default: A Macro Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 8105, CESifo.
    12. Satyajit c & Dean Corbae & Kyle Dempsey & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2020. "A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    13. Bulent Guler, 2015. "Innovations in Information Technology and the Mortgage Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 456-483, July.
    14. Juan M. Sánchez, 2018. "The Information Technology Revolution And The Unsecured Credit Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 914-930, April.
    15. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Gordon, Grey, 2012. "Dealing with consumer default: Bankruptcy vs garnishment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages 1-16.
    16. Thomas Hintermaier & Winfried Koeniger, 2016. "Debt Portfolios and Homestead Exemptions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 103-141, October.
    17. Gordon, Grey, 2017. "Optimal bankruptcy code: A fresh start for some," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 123-149.
    18. Davis, Andrew & Kim, Jiseob, 2017. "Explaining changes in the US credit card market: Lenders are using more information," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 76-92.
    19. Borghan Nezami Narajabad, 2012. "Information Technology and the Rise of Household Bankruptcy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(4), pages 526-550, October.
    20. N. Narajabad, Borghan, 2010. "Information Technology and the Rise of Household Bankruptcy," MPRA Paper 21058, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    revolving credit; credit limits; Ability to Pay; Credit CARD Act;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G50 - Financial Economics - - Household Finance - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2020-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/demcmca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/demcmca.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.