NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by David Gross

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Working Papers and Chapters

August 2001An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency
with Nicholas S. Souleles: w8409
This paper uses a new panel data set 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, including social, information, and legal costs. Even after controlling for risk-composition and other economic fundamentals, the propensity to default significantly increased between 1995 and 1997. By contrast, increases ...
June 2001Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data
with Nicholas S. Souleles: w8314
This paper utilizes a unique new dataset of credit card accounts to analyze how people respond to changes in credit supply. The data consist of a panel of thousands of individual credit card accounts from several different card issuers, with associated credit bureau data. We estimate both marginal propensities to consume (MPCs) out of liquidity and interest-rate elasticities. We also evaluate the ability of different models of consumption to rationalize our results, distinguishing the Permanent-Income Hypothesis (PIH), liquidity constraints, precautionary saving, and behavioral models. We find that increases in credit limits generate an immediate and significant rise in debt, counter to the PIH. The average 'MPC out of liquidity' (dDebt/dLimit) ranges between 10%-14%. The MPC is much large...
December 1997Estimating Adjustment Costs with Data on Heterogeneous Capital Goods
with Austan Goolsbee: w6342
This paper estimates the micro-level costs of adjusting capital using detailed data on" investment decisions in the US airline industry. The data include the capital stock retirement, market values, operating costs, and utilization rates of 16 different types of capital" goods for each airline. This data on heterogeneous capital goods allows us to estimate the" desired stock of capital for each type of plane while controlling for unobserved changes in airline" profitability. The results show clear evidence of non-convex adjustment costs inaction for capital investment and quadratic adjustment costs conditional on positive or negative" investment. The adjustment costs for utilization show similar non-convexities but with smaller" adjustment costs. Aggregating to the firm level or using...

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