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Screening on Loan Terms: Evidence from Maturity Choice in Consumer Credit
We exploit a natural experiment in the largest online consumer lending platform to provide the first evidence that loan terms, in particular maturity choice, can be used to screen borrowers based on their private information. We compare two groups of observationally equivalent borrowers who took identical unsecured 36-month loans; for only one of the groups, a 60-month loan was also available. When a long-maturity option is available, fewer borrowers take the short-term loan, and those who do default less. Additional findings suggest borrowers self-select on private information about their ...
Screening and Adverse Selection in Frictional Markets
We incorporate a search-theoretic model of imperfect competition into a standard model of asymmetric information with unrestricted contracts. We characterize the unique equilibrium, and use our characterization to explore the interaction between adverse selection, screening, and imperfect competition. We show that the relationship between an agent?s type, the quantity he trades, and the price he pays is jointly determined by the severity of adverse selection and the concentration of market power. Therefore, quantifying the effects of adverse selection requires controlling for market ...