Does Student Loan Forgiveness Have Significant Benefits for the Economy?

Student loans are becoming a major challenge for the United States. An estimated 43 million borrowers owe about $1.6 trillion dollars, meaning a significant fraction of U.S. households is burdened with debt that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The problem has taken on increased political and economic significance since the Biden Administration announced a federal student-loan forgiveness program that opponents have criticized as a $400-billion social welfare program for the well-to-do.

In a new paper, we take a novel approach to student loan forgiveness by empirically exploring whether it has important economic benefits that could at least partially offset its … Read more

How Does Soft Information Affect External Firm Financing?

In recent years, there have been significant changes in the information environment facing firms. In particular, the explosive growth in computing power and the reduction in the costs of disseminating economically relevant information due to the widespread use of the internet have significantly enhanced the ability of investors to produce and transmit information useful for valuing firms’ equity and for evaluating firm’s financing and investment policies. To give one example, Several internet sites allow employees to rate a firm’s management, work culture, compensation schemes, and overall prospects, e.g., Glassdoor Employee Ratings. While it is difficult to argue that such ratings … Read more