Publication Date


Award Type

Honorable Mention

Dissertation Advisor

Charles Brown


The first paper demonstrates the important role of job displacement in the household bankruptcy decision. Consistent with predicted filing behavior under persistent income shocks, I find that households in the NLSY are four times more likely to file in the year following job loss, with a smaller but significant response persisting two to three years. The second paper, co-authored with Tanmoy Mukherjee, Amit Seru, and Vikrant Vig, examines this question using a unique dataset of securitized subprime mortgage loans. We exploit a rule of thumb in the lending market to generate exogenous variation in the ease of securitization and compare the composition and performance of lenders' portfolios around this threshold. The third paper, co-authored with Brian C. Cadena, uses insights from behavioral economics to offer an explanation for a surprising phenomenon: Nearly 20 percent of undergraduate students who are offered interest-free loans turn them down.

Link to dissertation full text