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Jel Classification:G51 

Working Paper
Missouri’s Medicaid Contraction and Consumer Financial Outcomes

In July 2005, a set of cuts to Medicaid eligibility and coverage went into effect in the state of Missouri. These cuts resulted in the elimination of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program, more stringent eligibility requirements, and less generous Medicaid coverage for those who retained their eligibility. Overall, these cuts removed about 100,000 Missourians from the program and reduced the value of the insurance for the remaining enrollees. Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we show how these cuts increased out-of-pocket medical spending for ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-42

Working Paper
A Quantitative Theory of the Credit Score

What is the role of credit scores in credit markets? We argue that it is a stand-in for a market assessment of a person’s unobservable type (which here we take to be patience). We pose a model of persistent hidden types where observable actions shape the public assessment of a person’s type via Bayesian updating. We show how dynamic reputation can incentivize repayment without monetary costs of default beyond the administrative cost of filing for bankruptcy. Importantly, we show how an economy with credit scores implements the same equilibrium allocation. We estimate the model using both ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-39

Discussion Paper
Reverse Mortgage Retrospective: How Recent Policy Changes Affected Government-Insured Reverse Mortgage Originations and Performance

This discussion paper analyzes the outcomes of recent policy reforms to the federally insured reverse mortgage program. Prior to these reforms, more than one out of 10 older adults with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) was reported to be in default on the loan for failure to pay property taxes or homeowner’s insurance payments. We study the effect of two major types of policy reforms: one that restricted the amount of funds available to a borrower, and the other that introduced underwriting requirements through a financial assessment for the first time in the program’s history. ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper DP 20-06

Working Paper
Financial Profiles of Workers Most Vulnerable to Coronavirus-Related Earnings Loss in the Spring of 2020

In spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns had huge effects on unemployment. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, we describe the financial profiles of US families whose workers were most vulnerable to coronavirus-related earnings losses in the spring of 2020, based on whether a particular worker was deemed "essential" and whether a worker's job could be conducted remotely. We use descriptive analytic techniques to examine how families' baseline financial situations would allow them to weather COVID-shutdown-related earnings losses. We find that families with ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-093

Report
Credit Access and Mobility during the Flint Water Crisis

How do credit-constrained communities cope with the financial consequences of environmental crises? Beginning in April 2014, the residents of Flint, Michigan, were exposed to lead-contaminated water resulting from a series of governmental missteps. In this paper, we use the spatial distribution of lead and galvanized pipes in Flint to study the effect of the crisis on households’ financial health, including loan balances, repayment of outstanding debt, and Equifax Risk Scores, as well as on household mobility. We find that relatively more affected households, as measured by exposure to lead ...
Staff Reports , Paper 960

Working Paper
Do Lenders Still Discriminate? A Robust Approach for Assessing Differences in Menus

We use a new methodology to assess mortgage pricing discrimination faced by minority borrowers. We identify a “menu problem” that comes from the multidimensional nature of mortgage pricing: When getting a mortgage, borrowers can choose to avoid closing costs and pay a high interest rate or contribute to closing costs to get a lower rate. While data on both dimensions of mortgage pricing are by now often available, intuitively attractive metrics of lender pricing discrimination used in the literature can lead to both false and contradictory results. For example, it is sometimes observed ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-19

Working Paper
Municipal Markets and the Municipal Liquidity Facility

Municipal bond markets experienced a significant amount of strain in response to the COVID-19 crisis, creating liquidity and credit concerns among market participants. During the economic shutdown resulting from the pandemic, income tax revenues were deferred and sales tax revenues decreased beginning in spring 2020, while the cost of borrowing significantly increased for municipal issuers. To aid municipal borrowing needs, the Federal Reserve implemented the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) on April 9, 2020. In this analysis we describe the municipal market conditions as they evolved ...
Working Papers , Paper 202107

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

Working Paper
The Behavioral Relationship Between Mortgage Prepayment and Default

An implication of the dual trigger theory of default is that mortgage borrowers who experience an unexpected financial reverse will prepay their mortgage rather than default if their equity in the house is positive. We test this idea with a new data set created by matching mortgage servicing records and credit bureau records to classify prepayments by what happens subsequently. In particular, we can identify a subset of prepayments that seems consistent with the dual trigger theory. If the theory is correct, these prepayments should exhibit similarities to defaults in the data set rather than ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-12

Working Paper
Mortgage Prepayment, Race, and Monetary Policy

This paper documents large differences in mortgage prepayment behavior across racial and ethnic groups in the United States, which have significant implications for monetary policy, inequality, and pricing. Using a novel data set that combines administrative data on mortgage performance with information on race and ethnicity, we show that Black and Hispanic white borrowers have significantly lower prepayment rates compared with Non-Hispanic white borrowers, holding income, credit score, and equity constant. This gap is on the order of 50 percent and largely reflects different sensitivities ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-7

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