Finance Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2002

Publication Source

Review of Financial Studies

Volume

15

Issue

1

Start Page

319

Last Page

347

DOI

10.1093/rfs/15.1.319

Abstract

This article uses a new dataset of credit card accounts to analyze credit card delinquency, personal bankruptcy, and the stability of credit risk models. We estimate duration models for default and assess the relative importance of different variables in predicting default. We investigate how the propensity to default has changed over time, disentangling the two leading explanations for the recent increase in default rates—a deterioration in the risk composition of borrowers versus an increase in borrowers’ willingness to default due to declines in default costs. Even after controlling for risk composition and economic fundamentals, the propensity to default significantly increased between 1995 and 1997. Standard default models missed an important time-varying default factor, consistent with a decline in default costs.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Review of Financial Studies following peer review. The version of record is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rfs/15.1.319.

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.