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Human Capital Formation with Endogenous Credit Constraints

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  • Lance Lochner
  • Alexander Monge-Naranjo

Abstract

We study the accumulation of human capital and the behavior of consumption and earnings in a life cycle equilibrium model with endogenous borrowing constraints. Constraints arise endogenously from the inalienability of human capital and the limited punishments that creditors are able to impose on those who default. The endogeneity of borrowing constraints produces a number of interesting relationships. First, efficient borrowing limits are functions of individual observable characteristics and choices, especially ability and human capital investments. The connection between human capital investments and borrowing limits creates additional incentives to invest beyond those present in models with exogenous constraints. Second, government policies affect the incentives to default and, hence, the limits on private borrowing. As opposed to exogenous constraint models, additional subsidies for investment in human capital should be accompanied by increases in credit, since borrowers are more able to re-pay higher debts. Finally, general equilibrium considerations have an additional role, since borrowing limits depend on the returns to physical and human capital. We calibrate the model to U.S. data and are able to replicate key features of the economy regarding human capital investment, earnings, and consumption. The calibrated model is then used to study the steady state impacts of changes in government policies. We find that changes in bankruptcy laws can have sizeable effects on the accumulation of both human and physical capital. At the aggregate level, general equilibrium forces are important and can reverse the results predicted in partial equilibrium. Government subsidies to education (financed with a proportional tax on earnings) cause lenders to increase credit limits and substantially increase aggregate human and physical capital. Most importantly, we show that the implications of our model are very different from those of standard exogenous constraint models. For example, the effects of increases in initial wealth and government subsidies on investment are substantially greater in our model than in a similar model with exogenous constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2002. "Human Capital Formation with Endogenous Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 8815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8815
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lance J. Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2011. "The Nature of Credit Constraints and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2487-2529, October.
    2. Natalia Isachenkova & Melvyn Weeks, 2009. "Acquisition, Involvency and Managers in UK Small Companies," Working Papers wp390, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    3. Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino, 2008. "The Political Economy of Post-Compulsory Education Policy with Endogenous Credit Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 2304, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 37-89.
    5. David Croix & Philippe Michel, 2007. "Education and growth with endogenous debt constraints," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(3), pages 509-530, December.
    6. Leandro Gonçalves do Nascimento, 2004. "Investment in Human Capital in a Macrodynamic Framework: Redistributive Taxation, Public Debt and Welfare," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 539, Econometric Society.
    7. Leandro Nascimento, 2004. "Investment in Human Capital in a Macrodynamic Framework: Redistributive Taxation, Public Debt and Welfare," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 100, Econometric Society.
    8. Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe, 2012. "Should we transfer resources from college to basic education?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 1-27, January.
    9. Wang, Min, 2010. "Essays on Environment, Natural Resource, Growth and Development," ISU General Staff Papers 201001010800002824, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Alexander Monge-Naranjo & Luis J. Hall, 2003. "Access to Credit and the Effect of Credit Constraints on Costa Rican Manufacturing Firms," Research Department Publications 3164, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    11. Erasmo Papagni, 2008. "The Long-run Effects of Household Liquidity Constraints and Taxation on Fertility, Education, Saving, and Growth," Discussion Papers 11_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    12. Nathan Grawe, 2008. "The quality–quantity trade-off in fertility across parent earnings levels: a test for credit market failure," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 29-45, March.
    13. Deborah Lucas & Damien Moore, 2008. "The Student Loan Consolidation Option," Working Papers 2012-015, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    14. Nathan D. Grawe, 2010. "Bequest Receipt And Family Size Effects," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 156-162, January.
    15. Anderberg, Dan, 2013. "Post-compulsory education: Participation and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 134-150.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General

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