Policy Rules and Large Crises in Emerging Markets
Emerging countries have increasingly adopted rules to discipline government policy. The COVID-19 shock led to widespread suspension and modification of these rules. We study rules and flexibility in a sovereign default model with domestic fiscal and monetary policies and long-term external debt. We find welfare gains from adopting monetary targets and debt limits during normal times. Though government policy cannot itself counteract fundamental shocks hitting the economy, the adoption of rules has a significant impact on policy, macroeconomic outcomes and welfare during large, unexpected ...
Understanding the Evolution of Student Loan Balances and Repayment Behavior: Do Institution Type and Degree Matter?
Student loan balances and delinquency rates have soared to unprecedented levels in recent years, forming what many commentators have termed a “student loan bubble” and creating a major public policy issue. Given the importance of student loans for human capital formation and economic growth, understanding student loans and repayment behavior is essential from a policy perspective. Yet research in this area has been limited. The authors seek to fill the gap by examining student loan performance over time by institution type and degree program. Using detailed data collected as part of ...
Is Free College the Solution to Student Debt Woes? Studying the Heterogeneous Impacts of Merit Aid Programs
The rising cost of a college education has become an important topic of discussion among both policymakers and practitioners. At least eleven states have recently introduced programs to make public two-year education tuition free, including New York, which is rolling out its Excelsior Scholarship to provide tuition-free four-year college education to low-income students across the SUNY and CUNY systems. Prior to these new initiatives, New York, had already instituted merit scholarship programs that subsidize the cost of college conditional on academic performance and in-state attendance. ...
Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes
Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents turning to federal and private loans to pay for higher education. An earlier post in this series reported that borrowers in majority Black areas have higher student loan ...
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 ...
The Persistence of Financial Distress
Using recently available proprietary panel data, we show that while many (35%) US consumers experience financial distress at some point in the life cycle, most of the events of financial distress are primarily concentrated in a much smaller proportion of consumers in persistent trouble. Roughly 10% of consumers are distressed for more than a quarter of the life cycle, and less than 10% of borrowers account for half of all distress events. These facts can be largely accounted for in a straightforward extension of a workhorse model of defaultable debt that accommodates a simple form of ...
Opening remarks at the Convening on Student Loan Data Conference
Remarks at the Convening on Student Loan Data Conference, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
Are Developing Countries Facing a Possible Debt Crisis?
An analysis looks at whether developing countries are facing pressures similar to those in the 1980s, when higher interest rates helped trigger a wave of defaults in sovereign debt.
Neighborhood Redlining, Racial Segregation, and Homeownership
Redlining was the practice of selectively classifying neighborhoods as most likely to default on repayment of a mortgage loan. Houses in redlined neighborhoods held little value as collateral, and lenders would only offer mortgage loans for these houses at above-average interest rates. Over time, these neighborhoods had the largest concentrations of African Americans. The September 2021 issue of Page One Economics explains how residents in redlined neighborhoods could not afford to become homeowners and accumulate wealth at the rates other groups did. It also points out how only when the ...
The Mortgage Prepayment Decision: Are There Other Motivations Beyond Refinance and Move?
Borrowers terminate residential mortgages for a variety of reasons. Prepayments and defaults have always been distinguishable, and researchers have recently distinguished between prepayments involving a move and other prepayments. But these categories still combine distinct decisions. For example, a borrower may refinance to obtain a lower interest rate or to borrow a larger amount. By matching mortgage servicing and credit bureau records, we are able to distinguish among several motivations for prepayment: simple refinancing, cash-out refinancing, mortgage payoff, and move. Using multinomial ...