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Author:Mikhed, Vyacheslav 

Working Paper
How Data Breaches Affect Consumer Credit

We use the 2012 South Carolina Department of Revenue data breach as a natural experiment to study how data breaches and news coverage about them affect consumers? interactions with the credit market and their use of credit. We find that some consumers directly exposed to the breach protected themselves against potential losses from future fraudulent use of stolen information by monitoring their files and freezing access to their credit reports. However, these consumers continued their regular use of existing credit cards and did not switch lenders. The response of consumers exposed to the ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-6

Working Paper
Out of sight, out of mind: consumer reaction to news on data breaches and identity theft

We use the 2012 South Carolina Department of Revenue data breach to study how data breaches and news coverage about them affect consumers? take-up of fraud protections. In this instance, we find that a remarkably large share of consumers who were directly affected by the breach acquired fraud protection services immediately after the breach. In contrast, the response of consumers who were not directly exposed to the breach, but who were exposed to news about it, was negligible. Even among consumers directly exposed to the data breach, the incremental effect of additional news about the breach ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-42

Working Paper
Personal Bankruptcy as a Real Option

We provide a novel explanation to the longstanding puzzle of the ?missing bankruptcy ?lings.? Even though a household with a negative net worth will receive contemporaneous bene?t from bankruptcy, there may be greater insurance value from delaying the ?ling. Household bankruptcy is thus an American-style put option, which is not necessarily exercised even if the option is "in the money." Based on the value functions in the household?s dynamic programming problem, we formulate the value of the bankruptcy option as well as the exercise price. We estimate a life-cycle model in which households ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-46

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Identity Theft: Evidence from Consumer Credit Bureau Records

This paper examines how a negative shock to the security of personal finances due to severe identity theft changes consumer credit behavior. Using a unique data set of consumer credit records and alerts indicating identity theft and the exogenous timing of victimization, we show that the immediate effects of fraud on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent, positive changes in credit characteristics, including improved Risk Scores. Consumers also exhibit caution with credit by having fewer ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-2

Working Paper
Who is screened out of social insurance programs by entry barriers? Evidence from consumer bankruptcies

Entry barriers into social insurance programs will be effective screening devices if they cause only those individuals receiving higher benefits from a program to participate in that program. We find evidence for this by using plausibly exogenous variations in travel-related entry costs into the Canadian consumer bankruptcy system. Using detailed balance sheet and travel data, we find that higher travel-related entry costs reduce bankruptcies from individuals with lower financial benefits of bankruptcy (unsecured debt discharged, minus secured assets forgone). When compared across filers, ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-40

Working Paper
Does the Relative Income of Peers Cause Financial Distress? Evidence from Lottery Winners and Neighboring Bankruptcies

SUPERSEDED BY WP 18-22 We examine whether relative income differences among peers can generate financial distress. Using lottery winnings as plausibly exogenous variations in the relative income of peers, we find that the dollar magnitude of a lottery win of one neighbor increases subsequent borrowing and bankruptcies among other neighbors. We also examine which factors may mitigate lenders? bankruptcy risk in these neighborhoods. We show that bankruptcy filers can obtain secured but not unsecured debt, and lenders provide secured credit to low-risk but not high-risk debtors. In addition, we ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-16

Working Paper
How do exogenous shocks cause bankruptcy? Balance sheet and income statement channels

We are the first to examine whether exogenous shocks cause personal bankruptcy through the balance sheet channel and/or the income statement channel. For identification, we examine the effect of exogenous, politically motivated government payments on 200,000 Canadian bankruptcy filings. We find support for the balance sheet channel, in that receipt of the exogenous cash increases the net balance sheet benefits of bankruptcy (unsecured debt discharged minus liquidated assets forgone) required by filers. We also find limited support for the income statement channel, in that exogenous payments ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-17

Working Paper
Did the ACA's Dependent Coverage Mandate Reduce Financial Distress for Young Adults?

We analyze whether the passage of the Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage mandate in 2010 reduced financial distress for young adults. U sing nationally representative, anonymized consumer credit report information, we find that young adults covered by the mandate lowered their past due debt, had fewer delinquencies, and had a reduced probability of filing for bankruptcy. These effects are stronger in geographic areas that experienced higher uninsured rates for young adults prior to the mandate's implementation. Our estimates also show that some improvements are transitory because they ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-3

Working Paper
Identity theft as a teachable moment

This paper examines how instances of identity theft that are sufficiently severe to induce consumers to place an extended fraud alert in their credit reports affect their risk scores, delinquencies, and other credit bureau variables on impact and thereafter. We show that for many consumers these effects are relatively small and transitory. However, for a significant number of consumers, especially those with lower risk scores prior to the event, there are more persistent and generally positive effects on credit bureau variables, including risk scores. We argue that these positive changes for ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-28

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Identity Theft

We examine how a negative shock from identity theft affects consumer credit market behavior. We show that the immediate effects of fraud on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent increases in credit scores and declines in reported delinquencies, with a significant proportion of affected consumers transitioning from subprime-to-prime credit scores. Those consumers take advantage of their improved creditworthiness to obtain additional credit, including auto loans and mortgages. Despite having ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-33

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