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Using personal bankruptcy data to understand household financial distress


Term:

Summer

Department:

15: Management

Faculty Supervisor:

Christopher Palmer

Faculty email:

cjpalmer@mit.edu

Apply by:

May 15, 2020

Contact:

jalton@mit.edu

Project Description

This project is a in depth study of data from hundreds of thousands of personal bankruptcy filings. Our goal is to understand the extent of moral hazard in personal bankruptcy. Specifically, when someone knows they are going to declare bankruptcy soon, do they take advantage of this by "running up the tab" and increasing their debt, knowing it will be discharged? We are looking for a UROP that is proficient in Stata or Python to help us with data cleaning and econometric analysis. Our first task is to match people in similar situations together to figure out how much variation there is in the behavior of people in similar situations. The project is perfect for someone wanting to see what academic research in economics is like and will involve working closely with several Finance professors from multiple universities with PhDs in economics or finance. The project will also involve learning regular expressions to parse text fields.

Pre-requisites

Fluency with Stata or Python