Michelle M. Miller
Rutgers Business School
Department of Finance and Economics
|Emergency Preservation of Federal Bankruptcy Court Records, 1940-2000 (with Mary E. Hansen)
Institute for New Economic Thinking
We will document long-run trends in personal bankruptcy, with special emphasis on the use of the bankruptcy law at the local level and among women. Existing sources of data on bankruptcy are inadequate for careful analysis local or disaggregated trends. In order to facilitate basic research on this important, timely, and policy-relevant topic, we pilot the construction of a data set from original bankruptcy case files, many of which will soon be destroyed because of the high cost of storing them. For this pilot, we will preserve a 1% sample of bankruptcy cases filed Maryland and Eastern Virginia from 1940-2000, and we will make data from the case files available for public use. We then plan to create a data set that covers the entire U.S. from passage of the 1898 Bankruptcy Act to the roll-out of electronic bankruptcy records. The case files contain detailed data about household and business finance, so our work will enable a wide range of research on the impact of financial innovations and instability on households and firms.
|Digital Preservation of Bankruptcy Court Records, 1898-2000 (with Mary E. Hansen)
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
We will digitize original bankruptcy case files to encode the first long-run mico-level data set on bankruptcy. Our data set will provide answers to basic questions about indebtedness and bankruptcy, will allow policy makers to better anticipate the effects of proposed changes in credit law, and will be used by consumer advocates to design materials for financial education.
|Creating a Data Set of Bankrupt Households
My research objective is to document long-run trends in bankruptcy. In particular, I will investigate bankruptcy trends across small geographic regions (such as divisions) as well as bankruptcy trends across gender. In order to facilitate research on this important, timely, and policy-relevant topic, I will create a micro-level data set of bankrupt households. With support from the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we are creating digital images (i.e. .jpg files) of approximately 78,000 bankruptcy cases (1 percent) filed in 24 states between 1898 and 2000. These digital images include approximately 7,600 bankruptcy cases filed in Maryland and the Eastern District of Virginia between 1940 and 2000 (joint work with Dr. Mary Hansen from American University). With this research grant I will construct a data set from the 7,600 bankruptcy case files from Maryland and the Eastern District of Virginia and make the data set publically available through the Inter-university Consortium on Political and Social Research (ICPSR).