How Does Consumer Bankruptcy Protection Impact Household Outcomes?

86 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2016 Last revised: 4 Mar 2020

See all articles by Carlos Parra

Carlos Parra

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - School of Business

Date Written: February 27, 2020

Abstract

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the main debt relief program for U.S. households, provides more than $150 billion in debt relief each year, yet its impact on consumers remains unclear. Using unique hand-collected data from individual bankruptcy petitions, I employ a regression discontinuity design to estimate Chapter 7’s effect on households’ subsequent real investment and financial performance. Chapter 7 protection increases the probability of a debtor creating a new business, becoming a first-time homeowner, and avoiding home foreclosure. Although Chapter 7 protects people in a variety of ways—for example, by stopping creditor harassment—the above findings arise because of debt relief.

Keywords: Debt relief, consumer bankruptcy, household finance, foreclosure, investment

JEL Classification: D14, K35, G18, G11, G21

Suggested Citation

Parra, Carlos, How Does Consumer Bankruptcy Protection Impact Household Outcomes? (February 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2808851 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2808851

Carlos Parra (Contact Author)

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - School of Business ( email )

Vicuna Mackenna 4860
Santiago
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://www.carlosrparra.com/

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