28 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2003
Every policy prescription, economic analysis, or news report about consumer bankruptcy rests on one or another unspoken image of the estimated 1.6 million families that will file in a single year. Data from the 2001 Consumer Bankruptcy Project permit a systematic analysis of the composition of those who file for personal bankruptcy, focusing on their educations, occupations and home ownership status. These attributes serve as a proxy for class identification. Based on these indicia, more than 90 percent of the families in bankruptcy qualify as middle class. These data are a powerful reminder that whatever else might be said about those in bankruptcy, these people are not some sub-group of Americans safely distanced from the middle class, but instead are co-workers, neighbors and families woven throughout the fabric of American society.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Warren, Elizabeth, Financial Collapse and Class Status: Who Goes Bankrupt?. Osgoode Hall Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 1, p. 114, Spring 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=480342 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.480342