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A quantitative theory of unsecured consumer credit with risk of default

Satyajit Chatterjee (), P. Dean Corbae (), Makoto Nakajima () and José-Víctor Ríos-Rull ()

No 07-16, Working Papers from Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Abstract: The authors study, theoretically and quantitatively, the general equilibrium of an economy in which households smooth consumption by means of both a riskless asset and unsecured loans with the option to default. The default option resembles a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Competitive financial intermediaries offer a menu of loan sizes and interest rates wherein each loan makes zero profits. They prove the existence of a steady-state equilibrium and characterize the circumstances under which a household defaults on its loans. They show that their model accounts for the main statistics regarding bankruptcy and unsecured credit while matching key macroeconomic aggregates and the earnings and wealth distributions. They use this model to address the implications of a recent policy change that introduces a form of “means-testing” for households contemplating a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. They find that this policy change yields large welfare gains. ; Also issued as Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper No. 07-08, 05-12, and 01-01 ; Supersedes Working Paper No. 05-18 and 02-6

Keywords: Consumer credit; Risk; Default (Finance) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban and nep-dge
Date: 2007
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Journal Article: A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default (2002) Downloads
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