Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center

Recent Developments in Consumer Credit and Default Literature

This survey discusses recent contributions to the quantitative literature on unsecured consumer debt and default, and some ongoing challenges for the literature. Key topics include the sources of the rise in personal bankruptcies, the importance of asymmetric information and the effects of developments in information technologies on consumer credit markets, delinquency and informal bankruptcy, debt collection and restructuring of distressed debt, the cyclical behavior of consumer debt and default, and the insurance role of household debt. Implications for welfare analysis and policy design are discussed. Several theoretical contributions and approaches to modeling the consumer credit markets are also highlighted.

This paper was published in the Journal of Economic Surveys. The published version is here.