THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION AND THE UNSECURED CREDIT MARKET
Economic Inquiry, 2018, vol. 56, issue 2, 914-930
The information technology (IT) revolution coincided with the transformation of the U.S. unsecured credit market. Households' borrowing increased rapidly and there was an even faster increase in bankruptcy filings. A risk of default model with asymmetric information and costly screening is introduced to study this period. When information costs are high, the design of contracts under private information prevents some households from borrowing with a risk of default. As information costs drop, households borrow more and bankruptcy filings increase. Quantitative exercises suggest that the IT revolution may have played an important role in the transformation of the unsecured credit market. (JEL E43, E44, G33)
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