With these data, we will be able to answer questions like the following:
- To what extent did the St. Louis Fed's no bailout policy send solvent but illiquid borrowers into bankruptcy at the start of the Great Depression?
- To what extent did the implementation of Medicare reduce bankruptcy rates among those eligible?
- Has the geographic extent of credit markets changed much over the past century?
- How strong is the evidence that there were local spillovers in bankruptcy filing?
- To what extent did bankruptcy rates among men and women converge between 1940 and 2000?
- To what extent did local trends in bankruptcy and indebtedness diverge from district court and state trends?
- What are the origins of modern racial disparities in the use of the bankruptcy law?
- How many filers for bankruptcy borrowed using the newest, often high-interest, credit instruments?
- Does the slow resolution of bankruptcy cases stall economic recovery after a downturn?
- How many filers for bankruptcy could have repaid their debts? How has so-called strategic filing changed over time?
Please see also related news article: Getting to the Core of Bankruptcy.
Image (top): Stylized petition for bankruptcy, circa 1920.