Labor and Social Policy Center
"Local Conditions and Delinquent Debt"
Dr. Ratcliffe will discuss joint work with her colleages at the Urban Institute (Breno Braga and Signe-Mary McKernan) and the Consumer Credit Research Institute of the Encore Capital Group (John Chalekian, Peifang Guo, and Christopher Trepel). The paper uses unique individual-level credit bureau data to examine the geographic concentration of US consumers’ total debt and delinquent debt down to the census-tract level. They also examine the extent to which delinquent debt undefinedas measured by debt in collectionsundefinedis associated with local-area characteristics such as health insurance coverage, home price, rents, unemployment, and households’ demographic characteristics.
Caroline Ratcliffe is an economist and expert in the asset building and poverty fields. Her research focuses on low-income families and underserved consumers, and she has published extensively on the role of emergency savings, homeownership, poverty dynamics, and welfare receipt.
Ratcliffe has conducted experimental and quasi-experimental analyses to estimate the effect of programs on low-income families. She is directing the evaluation of the MyAccountCardpilot, which aims to help low-income families avoid expensive refund anticipation loans and checks, move them into the financial mainstream, and accumulate savings.
Ratcliffe has written extensively on how welfare programs and state welfare policies affect low-income families’ benefit receipt and economic well-being, and has explored how poverty status at birth relates to childhood poverty persistence. She held previous positions at the Congressional Budget Office and Brookings Institution, and has been a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University, teaching in its public policy program.
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