Determinants of bankruptcy among US households in the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances

Schane D Coker, Purdue University


This study investigates behaviors and decisions made by US households and how they correlate with whether or not the household has ever filed for bankruptcy. The various types of financial behaviors and decisions that a household engages in will be utilized as predictors in order to measure previous household bankruptcy filings. Based on a review of the literature on the determinants of bankruptcy, correlates from four domains are tested against a measure of whether a household has ever filed for bankruptcy: demographic characteristics, financial capacity, financial stability, and financial socialization. A logistic regression model is applied to a weighted sample of roughly 6,015 households obtained from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances. Each household within the SCF was interviewed on their experience with various financial decisions and practices, as well as the behaviors that they have employed as a result of these decisions. The results indicate that all of the hypotheses considered in this study underscore important findings, most importantly, that of those households that were most likely to have filed for bankruptcy based off either their net income for 2012 or their average bank account balance were households that could be considered a part of the top 1% of US households by economic status.




Evans, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Home economics|Economics|Sociology

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