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
Date Written: May 22, 2018
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)
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