Consumer Bankruptcy Stigma: Understanding Relationships with Familiarity and Perceived Control

Chin, A., Cohen, T. R., and Lindblad, M. R. Consumer Bankruptcy Stigma: Understanding Relationships with Familiarity and Perceived Control. Journal of Consumer Affairs, Forthcoming

Posted: 11 Jun 2018

See all articles by Alycia Chin

Alycia Chin

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

Taya R. Cohen

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Mark R. Lindblad

Center for Responsible Lending

Date Written: May 22, 2018

Abstract

Bankruptcy stigma is commonly thought to influence debtors’ bankruptcy filing decisions. Despite its importance, researchers have not collected direct quantitative measures of bankruptcy stigma, either in terms of attitudes toward bankruptcy or evaluations of filers. Across two empirical studies, we find that (1) attitudes toward bankruptcy and bankruptcy filers are less negative among those with firsthand bankruptcy experience; (2) bankruptcy stigma is a multidimensional construct that includes morality-, warmth-, and competence-related elements; and (3) consistent with psychological models of blame, filers who are perceived to have more control over the circumstances leading to their bankruptcy are more highly stigmatized. By directly investigating bankruptcy stigma, this research can be used to inform models of consumer decisions about bankruptcy filings and bankruptcy policy.

Keywords: stigma, consumer bankruptcy, morality, control, Community Advantage Panel Survey (CAPS)

Suggested Citation

Chin, Alycia and Cohen, Taya R. and Lindblad, Mark R., Consumer Bankruptcy Stigma: Understanding Relationships with Familiarity and Perceived Control (May 22, 2018). Chin, A., Cohen, T. R., and Lindblad, M. R. Consumer Bankruptcy Stigma: Understanding Relationships with Familiarity and Perceived Control. Journal of Consumer Affairs, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3183413

Alycia Chin (Contact Author)

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ( email )

1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-2
United States

Taya R. Cohen

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
4122686677 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/our-faculty-and-research/about-our-faculty/faculty-profiles/tcohen/cohen-t

Mark R. Lindblad

Center for Responsible Lending ( email )

1330 Broadway, Suite 604
Oakland, CA 94612
United States

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