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Author:Ionescu, Felicia 

Working Paper
Default Risk and Private Student Loans: Implications for Higher Education Policies

The private market for student loans has become an important source of college financing in the United States. Unlike government student loans, the terms on student loans in the private market are based on credit status. We quantify the importance of the private market for student loans and of credit status for college investment in a general equilibrium heterogeneous life-cycle economy. We find that students with good credit status invest in more college education (compared to those with bad credit status) and that this effect is more pronounced for low-income students. Furthermore, results ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-66

Discussion Paper
Comparing Three Credit Scoring Models /Rachael Beer, Felicia Ionescu, and Geng Li.

Our analysis uses a different, unique proprietary dataset that features three frequently used credit scores for each individual. Compared with the dataset used in the CFPB report, this dataset includes more recent time periods and provides a longer historical perspective of credit score comparisons.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2018-05-21

Working Paper
Who Values Access to College?

A first glance at US data suggests that college -- given its mean returns and sharply subsidized cost for all enrollees -- could be of great value to most. Using an empirically-disciplined human capital model that allows for variation in college readiness, we show otherwise. While the top decile of valuations is indeed large (40 percent of consumption), nearly half of high school completers place zero value on access to college. Subsidies to college currently flow to those already best positioned to succeed and least sensitive to them. Even modestly targeted alternatives may therefore improve ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-015

Working Paper
The Interplay Between Student Loans and Credit Card Debt: Implications for Default in the Great Recession

We analyze the interactions between two different forms of unsecured credit and their implications for default behavior of young U.S. households. One type of credit mimics credit cards in the United States and the default option resembles a bankruptcy filing under Chapter 7; the other type of credit mimics student loans in the United States and the default option resembles Chapter 13. In the credit card market a financial intermediary offers a menu of interest rates based on individual default risk, which account for borrowing and repayment behavior in both markets. In the student loan ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-14

Working Paper
Stock Market Investment: The Role of Human Capital

Participation in the stock market is limited, especially early in life. By contrast, human capital investment is widespread, especially early in life. Returns to equity are constant across households, while returns to human capital vary. The contribution of this paper is to demonstrate that once human capital investment is allowed for and, critically, disciplined to match observed dispersion in earnings, an entirely standard model of portfolio choice delivers stock market participation rates consistent with the data over the entire life cycle. Moreover, we show that endogenizing human capital ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-65

Working Paper
Insuring college failure risk

Participants in student loan programs must repay loans in full regardless of whether they complete college. But many students who take out a loan do not earn a degree (the dropout rate among college students is between 33 to 50 percent). The authors examine whether insurance against college-failure risk can be offered, taking into account moral hazard and adverse selection. To do so, they developed a model that accounts for college enrollment, dropout, and completion rates among new high school graduates in the US and use that model to study the feasibility and optimality of offering ...
Working Papers , Paper 10-1

Working Paper
Insuring student loans against the financial risk of failing to complete college

Participants in student loan programs must repay loans in full regardless of whether they complete college. But many students who take out a loan do not earn a degree (the dropout rate among college students is between 33 to 50 percent). We examine whether insurance, in the form of loan forgiveness in the event of failure to complete college, can be offered, taking into account moral hazard and adverse selection. To do so, we develop a model that accounts for college enrollment and graduation rates among recent US high school graduates. In our model students may fail to earn a degree because ...
Working Papers , Paper 12-15

Working Paper
Insuring student loans against the risk of college failure

Participants in student loan programs must repay loans in full regardless of whether they complete college. But many students who take out a loan do not earn a degree (the dropout rate among college students is between 33 to 50 percent). The authors examine whether insurance against college-failure risk can be offered, taking into account moral hazard and adverse selection. To do so, they develop a model that accounts for college enrollment, dropout, and completion rates among new high school graduates in the US and use that model to study the feasibility and optimality of offering insurance ...
Working Papers , Paper 10-31

Working Paper
Stock Market Investment: The Role of Human Capital

Portfolio choice models counter factually predict (or advise) almost universal equity market participation and a high share for equity in wealth early in life. Empirically consistent predictions have proved elusive without participation costs, informational frictions, or non standard preferences. We demonstrate that once human capital investment is allowed, standard theory predicts portfolio choices much closer to those empirically observed. Two intuitive mechanisms are at work: For participation, human capital returns exceed financial asset returns for most young households and, as ...
Working Paper , Paper 15-7

Working Paper
Who Values Access to College?

At first glance, college appears to be of great value to most, given its mean returns and sharply subsidized tuition. An empirically-disciplined human capital model that allows for variation in college readiness suggests otherwise: Nearly half of high school completers place zero value on access to college. This renders blanket subsidies potentially inefficient. As proof of principle, we show that redirecting subsidies away from those who would nonetheless enroll--towards a stock index retirement fund for those who do not even when college is subsidized--increases ex-ante welfare by 1 percent ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-5

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