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Stimulus through Insurance: The Marginal Propensity to Repay Debt

Gizem Kosar, Davide Melcangi, Laura Pilossoph () and David Wiczer
Additional contact information
Laura Pilossoph: Duke University

No 16211, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Using detailed micro data, we document that households often use "stimulus" checks to pay down debt, especially those with low net wealth-to-income ratios. To rationalize these patterns, we introduce a borrowing price schedule into an otherwise standard incomplete markets model. Because interest rates rise with debt, borrowers have increasingly larger incentives to use an additional dollar to reduce debt service payments rather than consume. Using our calibrated model, we then study whether and how this marginal propensity to repay debt (MPRD) alters the aggregate implications of fiscal transfers. We uncover a trade-off between stimulus and insurance, as high–debt individuals gain considerably from transfers, but consume relatively little immediately. We show how this mechanism can lower short-run fiscal multipliers, but sustain aggregate consumption for longer.

Keywords: marginal propensity to consume; consumption; debt; fiscal transfers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E21 E62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2023-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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Working Paper: Stimulus through Insurance: The Marginal Propensity to Repay Debt (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: Stimulus through Insurance: The Marginal Propensity to Repay Debt (2023) Downloads
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