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Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance

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Listed:
  • J. Carter Braxton

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Gordon Phillips

    (Dartmouth College)

  • Kyle Herkenhoff

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

We show that unemployed individuals maintain significant access to credit. Following job loss, the unconstrained borrow, while the constrained default and delever. Both defaulters and borrowers are using credit to smooth consumption. We quantitatively show that credit-registries and long-term credit relationships allow the unemployed to partially offset income losses using credit, despite various forms of adverse selection. We estimate the model and find that the optimal provision of public insurance is unambiguously lower as credit access expands. The median individual in our simulated economy would gain both in steady-state as well as during the transition if the income replacement rate from public insurance programs is lowered from the current US policy of 41.2% to 39.8%.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Carter Braxton & Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2019. "Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance," 2019 Meeting Papers 323, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed019:323
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2018-09-28 09:37:30
    2. How Does Credit Access Affect Job-Search Outcomes and Sorting?
      by Blog Author in Liberty Street Economics on 2020-03-04 12:45:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Naoki Aizawa & Serena Rhee & Soojin Kim, 2018. "Labor Market Screening and Social Insurance Program Design for the Disabled," 2018 Meeting Papers 359, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Kyle F Herkenhoff, 2019. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(6), pages 2605-2642.
    3. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. John Carter Braxton & Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Jonathan Rothbaum & Lawrence Schmidt, 2021. "Changing Income Risk across the US Skill Distribution: Evidence from a Generalized Kalman Filter," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. Gajendran Raveendranathan & Georgios Stefanidis, 2020. "The Unprecedented Fall in U.S. Revolving Credit," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-05, McMaster University.
    6. 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.
    7. Satyajit c & Dean Corbae & Kyle Dempsey & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2020. "A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    8. Ying Feng & David Lagakos & James E. Rauch, 2018. "Unemployment and Development," NBER Working Papers 25171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Cristina Arellano, 2021. "Micro Risks and Pareto Improving Policies," Working Papers 2021-15, Princeton University. Economics Department..
    10. Serdar Birinci & Kurt See, 2019. "Labor Market Responses to Unemployment Insurance: The Role of Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2019-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised Nov 2021.
    11. Michael Gelman & Dan Silverman & Matthew Shapiro & Shachar Kariv, 2019. "Rational Illiquidity and Excess Sensitivity: Theory and Evidence from Income Tax Withholding and Refunds," 2019 Meeting Papers 542, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Piotr Denderski & Christian A. Stoltenberg, 2021. "On existence of private unemployment insurance with advance information on future job losses," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 21-052/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. Mark A. Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Cristina Arellano, 2021. "Micro Risks and Pareto Improving Policies with Low Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 28996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Michael Gelman & Shachar Kariv & Matthew D. Shapiro & Dan Silverman, 2019. "Rational Illiquidity and Consumption: Theory and Evidence from Income Tax Withholding and Refunds," NBER Working Papers 25757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Raveendranathan, Gajendran, 2020. "Revolving credit lines and targeted search," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    16. Chaumont, Gaston & Shi, Shouyong, 2022. "Wealth accumulation, on-the-job search and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 51-71.
    17. Filipe Correia & Gustavo S. Cortes & Thiago C. Silva, 2021. "Is Corporate Credit Risk Propagated to Employees?," Working Papers Series 551, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    18. Rene Chalom & Benjamin Pugsley & Fatih Karahan & Kurt Mitman, 2019. "Liquidity Effects of Unemployment Insurance Benefit Extensions: Evidence from Consumer Credit Data," 2019 Meeting Papers 438, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Sean Hundtofte & Arna Olafsson & Michaela Pagel, 2019. "Credit Smoothing," NBER Working Papers 26354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Benjamin S. Griffy, 2021. "Search And The Sources Of Life‐Cycle Inequality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1321-1362, November.
    21. Brendan Moore & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2019. "The Firm's Role in Displaced Workers' Earnings Losses," NBER Working Papers 26525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Gajendran Raveendranathan & Georgios Stefanidis, 2022. "Designing “Win-Win” Rate Caps," Department of Economics Working Papers 2022-03, McMaster University.
    23. Akos Horvath & Benjamin S. Kay & Carlo Wix, 2021. "The COVID-19 Shock and Consumer Credit: Evidence from Credit Card Data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-008, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • G51 - Financial Economics - - Household Finance - - - Household Savings, Borrowing, Debt, and Wealth
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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