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The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings and Entrepreneurship

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  • Kyle Herkenhoff
  • Gordon Phillips
  • Ethan Cohen-Cole

Abstract

How does consumer credit access impact job flows, earnings, and entrepreneurship? To answer this question, we build a new administrative dataset which links individual employment and entrepreneur tax records to TransUnion credit reports, and we exploit the discrete increase in consumer credit access following bankruptcy flag removal. After flag removal, individuals flow into self-employment. New entrants earn more, borrow significantly using unsecured and secured consumer credit, and are more likely to become an employer business. In addition, after flag removal, non-employed and self-employed individuals are more likely to find unemployment-insured "formal" jobs at larger firms that pay greater wages. These estimates imply that firms believe previously bankrupt workers are 3.8% less productive than non-bankrupt workers, on average. These results suggest that consumer credit access matters for each stage of entrepreneurship and that credit-checks may be limiting formal sector employment opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Herkenhoff & Gordon Phillips & Ethan Cohen-Cole, 2016. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings and Entrepreneurship," NBER Working Papers 22846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22846
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    Cited by:

    1. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. 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.
    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. Barrot, Jean-No�l & Loualiche, Erik & Plosser, Matthew & Sauvagnat, Julien, 2017. "Import Competition and Household Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 12098, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Marco Di Maggio & Ankit Kalda & Vincent Yao, 2019. "Second Chance: Life without Student Debt," NBER Working Papers 25810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Luojia Hu & Xing Huang & Andrei Simonov, 2020. "Credit Score Doctors," Working Paper Series WP 2020-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. Mi Luo & Simon Mongey, 2019. "Assets and Job Choice: Student Debt, Wages, and Job Satisfaction," 2019 Meeting Papers 1220, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. 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.
    9. Will Dobbie & Paul Goldsmith‐Pinkham & Neale Mahoney & Jae Song, 2020. "Bad Credit, No Problem? Credit and Labor Market Consequences of Bad Credit Reports," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(5), pages 2377-2419, October.
    10. Carlos Madeira, 2020. "The impact of information laws on consumer credit access: evidence from Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 873, Central Bank of Chile.
    11. Léon, Florian, 2019. "Long-term finance and entrepreneurship," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 1-1.
    12. Mi Luo & Simon Mongey, 2019. "Assets and Job Choice: Student Debt, Wages and Amenities," NBER Working Papers 25801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer & Maurice Kugler & Carlos Medina & Christian Posso & Juan E. Saavedra, 2019. "School Vouchers, Labor Markets and Vocational Education," Borradores de Economia 1087, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    14. Kyle Herkenhoff & Gordon Phillips & Ethan Cohen-Cole, 2016. "How Credit Constraints Impact Job Finding Rates, Sorting & Aggregate Output," Working Papers 16-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    15. Cox, James C. & Kreisman, Daniel & Dynarski, Susan, 2020. "Designed to fail: Effects of the default option and information complexity on student loan repayment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    16. Andres Liberman & Christopher Neilson & Luis Opazo & Seth Zimmerman, 2018. "The Equilibrium Effects of Information Deletion: Evidence from Consumer Credit Markets," NBER Working Papers 25097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Dean Corbae & Andrew Glover, 2018. "Employer Credit Checks: Poverty Traps versus Matching Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 25005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Tal Gross & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Jialan Wang, 2016. "The Marginal Propensity to Consume Over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 22518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Kyle Dempsey & Felicia Ionescu, 2021. "Lending Standards and Borrowing Premia in Unsecured Credit Markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-039, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    20. Sarah Miller & Cindy K. Soo, 2020. "Does Increasing Access to Formal Credit Reduce Payday Borrowing?," NBER Working Papers 27783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Cai, Dongliang & Song, Quanyun & Ma, Shuang & Dong, Yang & Xu, Qiuhua, 2018. "The relationship between credit constraints and household entrepreneurship in China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 246-258.
    22. Ballance, Joshua & Clifford, Robert & Shoag, Daniel, 2020. "“No more credit score”: Employer credit check bans and signal substitution," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    23. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger, 2019. "Dynamism Diminished: The Role of Housing Markets and Credit Conditions," NBER Working Papers 25466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • K35 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Personal Bankruptcy Law
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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