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Credit Lines

  • Xavier Mateos-Planas

    (Queen Mary Uiversity of London)

This paper develops a new theory of long term unsecured credit contracts based on costly contracting that matches the data in a variety of dimensions. Credit lines are long term relations between lending firms and households that pre-specify a credit limit and interest rate in each period. Households can unilaterally default in as in the U.S. Bankruptcy code, and can unilaterally switch credit lines. Lending firms can set a new credit limit at any time, but must commit to the interest rate or not depending on the regulatory setting. We solve and characterize the equilibria, finding the resulting set of contracts as well as the distribution of households over interest rates, credit limits and wealth. We find that this model replicates the main properties of typical lending contracts. We use the theory to study the new regulatory rules in the U.S. credit card market which require a stronger commitment from lending firms not to raise interest rates discretionally. This results in tighter limits but lower interest rates, reduced indebtedness and lower default. Typically, but not for all households, the new policy improves welfare.

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File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_1293.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1293.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1293
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Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance, and the Calibration of Matching Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1008, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Business Cycles In The Equilibrium Model Of Labor Market Search And Self‐Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 399-432, 05.
  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 165-93, April.
  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 & 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.
  6. repec:ner:carlos:info:hdl:10016/258 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2009. "A model of credit limits and bankruptcy with applications to welfare and indebtedness," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0910, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  8. Josep Pijoan-Mas 2 & Antonia Díaz & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2001. "Habit Formation: Inplications For The Wealth Distribution," Economics Working Papers we015114, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  9. Athreya, Kartik B. & Simpson, Nicole B., 2006. "Unsecured debt with public insurance: From bad to worse," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 797-825, May.
  10. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae, 2004. "A Competitive Theory of Credit Scoring," 2004 Meeting Papers 823, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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