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.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA|
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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- Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1992.
"Debt constrained asset markets,"
445, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002.
"A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default,"
Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Pe©rez(CAERP)
2, Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP).
- 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.
- Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "A quantitative theory of unsecured consumer credit with risk of default," Working Papers 07-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- 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.
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