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Positive Externalities of Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance and Consumer Credit

Author

Listed:
  • Joanne W. Hsu
  • David A. Matsa
  • Brian T. Melzer

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of unemployment insurance (UI) on consumer credit markets. Exploiting heterogeneity in UI generosity across U.S. states and over time, we find that UI helps the unemployed avoid defaulting on their mortgage debt. We estimate that UI expansions during the Great Recession prevented about 1.4 million foreclosures. Lenders respond to this decline in default risk by expanding credit access and reducing interest rates for low-income households at risk of being laid off. Our findings call attention to two benefits of unemployment insurance not previously highlighted: reducing deadweight losses from loan default and expanding access to credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanne W. Hsu & David A. Matsa & Brian T. Melzer, 2014. "Positive Externalities of Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance and Consumer Credit," NBER Working Papers 20353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20353
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Han, Song & Keys, Benjamin J. & Li, Geng, 2015. "Information, Contract Design, and Unsecured Credit Supply: Evidence from Credit Card Mailings," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-103, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    2. Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Leth-Petersen, & Louise C. Willerslev-Olsen, 2016. "Financial Trouble Across Generations:Evidence from the Universe of Personal Loans in Denmark," EPRU Working Paper Series 1601, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    3. Camelia M. Kuhnen & Brian T. Melzer, 2018. "Noncognitive Abilities and Financial Delinquency: The Role of Self‐Efficacy in Avoiding Financial Distress," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 73(6), pages 2837-2869, December.
    4. Xu, Kun & Guan, Zhihua & Xu, Wenli, 2015. "省级财政支出效率空间溢出效应研究:基于超效率dea和gsm模型
      [Study on Spatial Spillover Effect of Provincial Fiscal Efficiency: Based on Super-Efficient DEA and GSM Model]
      ," MPRA Paper 71132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Philip Du Caju & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2015. "Unemployment Risk and Over-indebtedness A Micro-econometric Perspective," Working Papers CEB 15-046, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sumit Agarwal & Gene Amromin & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Tim Landvoigt & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vincent Yao, 2015. "Mortgage Refinancing, Consumer Spending, and Competition: Evidence from the Home Affordable Refinancing Program," NBER Working Papers 21512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Dettling, Lisa J. & Hsu, Joanne W., 2017. "Minimum Wages and Consumer Credit : Impacts on Access to Credit and Traditional and High-Cost Borrowing," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-010, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), revised 03 Nov 2017.
    9. Du Caju, Philip & Rycx, François & Tojerow, Ilan, 2016. "Unemployment risk and over-indebtedness," Working Paper Series 1908, European Central Bank.
    10. Joanne Lee & Karen Needels & Walter Nicholson, "undated". "A Longitudinal Survey of Unemployment Insurance Recipients in Two Regions in California," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 982c8e2b780e479ea249e7b05, Mathematica Policy Research.
    11. Benjamin J. Keys & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vincent Yao, 2014. "Mortgage Rates, Household Balance Sheets, and the Real Economy," NBER Working Papers 20561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Ellul, Andrew & Wang, Cong & Zhang, Kuo, 2016. "Labor Unemployment Risk and CEO Incentive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 11634, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. María Laura Alzúa & Guillermo Cruces & Carolina Lopez, 2015. "Youth Training Programs Beyond Employment. Experimental Evidence from Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0177, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy

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