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Do bankers prefer married couples?

Authors

Abstract

Are married couples more credit constrained than unmarried households? If the cost of separation increases the risk of default, banks might be willing to lend to stable couples. In presence of incomplete information, marriage could be used as a signal of the quality of the match. This paper investigates the link between marriage and credit constraints. I use matching methods to evaluate the impact of marriage on credit constraints. I find that married couples are more likely to be approved for their loan, but they bear higher costs of credit. The differences between married and unmarried couples can be attributed to selection in the marriage rather than to discrimination against unmarried couples.

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