NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Tobias Berg

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2018On the Rise of FinTechs – Credit Scoring using Digital Footprints
with Valentin Burg, Ana Gombović, Manju Puri: w24551
We analyze the information content of the digital footprint – information that people leave online simply by accessing or registering on a website – for predicting consumer default. Using more than 250,000 observations, we show that even simple, easily accessible variables from the digital footprint equal or exceed the information content of credit bureau scores. Furthermore, the discriminatory power for unscorable customers is very similar to that of scorable customers. Our results have potentially wide implications for financial intermediaries’ business models, for access to credit for the unbanked, and for the behavior of consumers, firms, and regulators in the digital sphere.
May 2013Loan officer Incentives and the Limits of Hard Information
with Manju Puri, Jorg Rocholl: w19051
Poor loan quality is often attributed to loan officers exercising poor judgment. A potential solution is to base loans on hard information alone. However, we find other consequences of bypassing discretion stemming from loan officer incentives and limits of hard information verifiability. Using unique data where loans are based on hard information, and loan officers are volume-incentivized, we find loan officers increasingly use multiple trials to move loans over the cut-off, both in a regression-discontinuity design and when the cut-off changes. Additional trials positively predict default suggesting strategic manipulation of information even when loans are based on hard information alone.
 
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