Assessing Bankruptcy Reform in a Model with Temptation and Equilibrium Default

46 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2016

See all articles by Makoto Nakajima

Makoto Nakajima

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2016-07-11


A life-cycle model with equilibrium default in which agents with and without temptation coexist is constructed to evaluate the 2005 bankruptcy law reform. The calibrated model indicates that the 2005 reform reduces bankruptcies, as seen in the data, and improves welfare, as lower default premia allows better consumption smoothing. A counterfactual reform of changing income garnishment rate is also investigated. Interesting contrasting welfare effects between two types of agents emerge. Agents with temptation prefer a lower garnishment rate as tighter borrowing constraint prevents them from over-borrowing, while those without prefer better consumption smoothing enabled by a higher garnishment rate. (First draft: May 23, 2008)

Keywords: Consumer Bankruptcy, Debt, Default, Borrowing Constraint, Temptation and Self-Control, Hyperbolic Discounting, Heterogeneous Agents, Incomplete Markets

JEL Classification: D91, E21, E44, G18, K35

Suggested Citation

Nakajima, Makoto, Assessing Bankruptcy Reform in a Model with Temptation and Equilibrium Default (2016-07-11). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 16-21, Available at SSRN:

Makoto Nakajima (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

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