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Jel Classification:D10 

Working Paper
Heterogeneity in Economic Shocks and Household Spending

Large swings in aggregate household-sector spending, especially for big ticket items such as cars and housing, have been a dominant feature of the macroeconomic landscape in the past two decades. Income and wealth inequality increased over the same period, leading some to suggest the two phenomena are interconnected. Indeed, there is supporting evidence for the idea that heterogeneity in economic shocks and spending are connected, most notably in studies using local-area geography as the unit of analysis. The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) provides a household-level perspective on changes ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-49

Working Paper
Important Factors Determining Fintech Loan Default: Evidence from the LendingClub Consumer Platform

This study examines key default determinants of fintech loans, using loan-level data from the LendingClub consumer platform during 2007–2018. We identify a robust set of contractual loan characteristics, borrower characteristics, and macroeconomic variables that are important in determining default. We find an important role of alternative data in determining loan default, even after controlling for the obvious risk characteristics and the local economic factors. The results are robust to different empirical approaches. We also find that homeownership and occupation are important factors in ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-15

Discussion Paper
Contactless Payment Cards: Trends and Barriers to Consumer Adoption in the U.S.

Since 2017, the payment cards industry has undertaken a concerted effort to bring contactless “tap-and-pay” credit and debit card products to consumers. Payment networks, card issuers, and banks have worked to ensure that contactless cards, which communicate payment information wirelessly to point-of-sale terminals through Near Field Communication technology, are at the forefront of consumers’ minds when they make a purchase. Missing from the discussion of contactless payments, however, is an understanding of consumer interest in the technology; indeed, the current activities are a ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper DP 20-03

Working Paper
Income in the Off-Season: Household Adaptation to Yearly Work Interruptions

Joblessness is highly seasonal. To analyze how households adapt to seasonal joblessness, we introduce a measure of seasonal work interruptions premised on the idea that a seasonal worker will tend to exit employment around the same time each year. We show that an excess share of prime-age US workers experience recurrent separations spaced exactly 12 months apart. These separations coincide with aggregate seasonal downturns and are concentrated in seasonally volatile industries. Examining workers most prone to seasonal work interruptions, we find that these workers incur large earnings losses ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-084

Working Paper
“Sort Selling”: Political Polarization and Residential Choice

Partisanship and political polarization are salient features of today’s society. We merge deeds records with voter rolls and show that political polarization is more than just “political cheerleading.” Descriptively, homeowners are more likely to sell their homes and move when their next-door neighbors are affiliated with the opposite political party. We use a novel, new-next door neighbor identification strategy along with rich demographic control variables and time by-geography fixed effects to confirm causality. Consistent with a partisanship mechanism, our results are strongest when ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-14

Working Paper
Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics

Why did the marriage probability of single females in France after World War 1 rise 50% above its pre-war average, despite a 33% drop in the male/female singles ratio? We conjecture that war-time disruption of the marriage market generated an abnormal abundance of men with relatively high marriage propensities. Our model of matching over the lifecycle, when calibrated to pre-war data and two war-time shocks, succeeds in matching the French time path under the additional assumption of a pro-natalist post-war preference shock. We conclude that endogeneity issues make the sex ratio a potentially ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-7

Working Paper
Inferring Inequality with Home Production

We revisit the causes, welfare consequences, and policy implications of the dispersion in households' labor market outcomes using a model with uninsurable risk, incomplete asset markets, and a home production technology. Accounting for home production amplifies welfare-based differences across households meaning that inequality is larger than we thought. Using the optimality condition that households allocate more consumption to their more productive sector, we infer that the dispersion in home productivity across households is roughly three times as large as the dispersion in their wages. ...
Working Papers , Paper 746

Working Paper
Household formation over time: evidence from two cohorts of young adults

This paper analyzes household formation in the United States using data from two cohorts of the national Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY)?the 1979 cohort and the 1997 cohort. The analysis focuses on how various demographic and economic factors impact household formation both within cohorts and over time across cohorts. The results show that there are substantial differences over time in the share of young adults living with their parents. Differences in housing costs and business-cycle conditions can explain up to 70 percent of the difference in household-formation rates across cohorts. ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-17

Working Paper
A Tale of Two Bailouts: Effects of TARP and PPP on Subprime Consumer Debt

High levels of subprime consumer debt can create social problems. We test the effects of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) bailouts during the Global Financial Crisis and COVID-19 crisis, respectively, on this debt. We use over 11 million credit bureau observations of individual consumer debt combined with banking, bailout, and local market data. We find that subprime consumers with more TARP institutions in their markets had significantly increased debt burdens following these bailouts. In contrast, PPP bailouts were associated with reduced ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-32

Working Paper
Health Insurance as an Income Stabilizer

We evaluate the effect of health insurance on the incidence of negative income shocks using the tax data and survey responses of nearly 14,000 low income households. Us-ing a regression discontinuity (RD) design and variation in the cost of nongroup pri-vate health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we find that eligibility for sub-sidized Marketplace insurance is associated with a 16% and 9% decline in the rates of unexpected job loss and income loss, respectively. Effects are concentrated among households with past health costs and exist only for “unexpected” forms of earnings ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-05

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