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A Theory of Credit Scoring and the Competitive Pricing of Default Risk

  • Victor Rios-Rull

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Dean Corbae:

    (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Satyajit Chatterjee

    (FRB Philadelphia)

We propose a theory of unsecured consumer credit where: (i) borrowers have the legal option to default; (ii) defaulters are not exogenously excluded from future borrowing; (iii) there is free entry of lenders; and (iv) lenders cannot collude to punish defaulters. In our framework, limited credit or credit at higher interest rates following default arises from the lenderâs optimal response to limited information about the agentâs type and earnings realizations. The lender learns froman individualâs borrowing and repayment behavior about his type and encapsulates his reputation for not defaulting in a credit score. We take the theory to data choosing the parameters of the model to match key data moments such as the overall and subprime delinquency rates. We test the theory by showing that our underlying framework is broadly consistent with the way credit scores affect unsecured consumer credit market behavior. The framework can be used to shed light on household consumption smoothing with respect to transitory income shocks and to examine the welfare consequences of legal restrictions on the length of time adverse events can remain on one's credit record.

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File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_1115.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1115.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1115
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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  1. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Mich�le Tertilt, 2007. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 402-418, March.
  2. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget," Levine's Working Paper Archive 209, David K. Levine.
  3. 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.
  4. Timothy J Kehoe & David K Levine, 1993. "Debt Constrained Asset Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1276, David K. Levine.
  5. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2006. "Finite-Life, Private-Information Theory of Unsecured Debt," 2006 Meeting Papers 781, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Jonathan Fisher & Larry Filer & Angela Lyons, . "Is the Bankruptcy Flag Binding? Access to Credit Markets for Post-Bankruptcy Households," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1041, American Law & Economics Association.
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