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Michelle McKinnon Miller - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Michelle McKinnon Miller Michelle McKinnon Miller

Assistant Professor of Economics | Loyola Marymount University


Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


Michelle Miller is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Loyola Marymount University.

Education (2)

Boston University: Ph.D., Economics 2009

Dissertation Title: "Three Essays on the Economics of Personal Bankruptcy"

University of California, San Diego: B.A., Mathematics and Economics 2002

Areas of Expertise (4)

Law and Economics Labor Economics Health Economics Economic History

Accomplishments (5)

Economics Teacher of the Year (professional)


Awarded by Loyola Marymount University

Most Vested Professor (professional)


Awarded by the Dean's Advisory Committee of Rutgers University.

Best Teaching Style Award (professional)


Awarded by the Dean's Advisory Committee of Rutgers University.

Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (professional)


Awarded by Rutgers University.

Best Teacher Award (professional)


Awarded by the Dean's Advisory Committee of Rutgers University.

Research Grants (7)

RAINS Research Assistance

Loyola Marymount University 

September 2013 - May 2017

Bellarmine Research Award

Loyola Marymount University 

June 2015 - June 2016

Collaborative Research: Opening New Views into Bankruptcy and Credit Markets Using Court Records

National Science Foundation 

With Mary E. Hansen

Digital Preservation of Bankruptcy Court Records, 1898-2000

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 

September 15, 2011 - December 31, 2012 (with Mary E. Hansen)

Emergency Preservation of Federal Bankruptcy Court Records

Institute for New Economic Thinking 

August 1, 2011 - April 30, 2012 (with Mary E. Hansen)

Creating a Data Set of Bankrupt Households

Rutgers Faculty Research Grant 

January 2, 2012 - December 1, 2012

Compulsory School Attendance Laws at the Turn of the 19th Century

Boston University Summer Research Grant 

May 1, 2006 - August 31, 2006

Courses (5)

Economics 1050

Introductory Economics

Economics 1100

Introductory Microeconomics

Economics 4540

Labor Economics

Economics 4560

Law and Economics

Economics 498

Special Studies (Labor Economics)

Articles (7)

Does Higher Transitory Income of Parents Permanently Increase the Income of Their Children? SSRN Electronic Journal, 2016

Parent income can predict child income through either human capital or monetary transfers. Using data from the PSID, we decompose parent income into a predictable human capital component and a “luck” component, whose variation is uncorrelated to a wide array of human capital measures. We find that the intergenerational income transmission occurs through both channels. However, the coefficient tied to human capital income is approximately 0.8, whereas the coefficient on the luck component, which is closely tied to monetary transfers, is under 0.2. Thus, the intergenerational income elasticity is largely recovering human capital effects rather than the influence of money.

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A New View of Women in Bankruptcy: Evidence from Maryland Since 1940 American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, 2016

Women filing for bankruptcy alone—that is, without a spouse identified as a co-debtor—increased from about 20 percent of all petitioners in 1980 to almost 40 percent in 2000. This article examines the historical origins of the increase. We collected data from cases filed in Maryland between 1940 and 2003 to construct the first consistent time series of women in bankruptcy. We find that the share of women in bankruptcy was volatile at midcentury, and its modern, steady increase dates to the 1960s. Our data shows that the rise is, to a large extent, associated with improvements in access to credit for women, which were accelerated by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) of 1974.

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Social Networks and Personal Bankruptcy Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 2015

This paper examines the role of social networks in a household’s bankruptcy decision. Social networks may affect a household’s bankruptcy decision in many ways: they could provide information about the required paperwork, recommend an attorney, reduce the stigma associated with bankruptcy, or increase awareness of its benefits. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), I exploit county and racial variation to identify network effects--- my empirical strategy asks whether being surrounded by others of the same race increases bankruptcy use more for those in racial groups with high filing rates. This methodology allows me to include both county-year and racial group fixed effects in my regressions. The results strongly confirm the importance of networks in a household’s bankruptcy decision.

Who Files for Bankruptcy? State Laws and the Characteristics of Bankrupt Households SSRN Electronic Journal, December 2011

The characteristics of bankrupt households (such as income and asset levels) vary widely across states. This paper shows that these variations can be attributed to state exemption laws and state garnishment laws. I develop a theoretical model in which households choose between repayment, bankruptcy, and informal bankruptcy (which occurs when households do not repay their debts and instead allow creditors to garnish their wages and seize their assets). The model predicts that high asset households have a higher probability of filing for bankruptcy in states with high exemption levels while low income households have a higher probability of filing for bankruptcy in states with high garnishment rates. I test these predictions using a new household level dataset, and find that if every state enacts a high exemption level (protecting at least $50,000 of home equity) there would be approximately 363,000 additional bankruptcy filings per year. Additionally, I find that if every stat e enacts a high garnishment rate (allowing garnishment at the federal limit of 25 percent) there would be approximately 111,000 additional bankruptcy filings per year.

Chapter 7 or 13: Are Client or Lawyer Interests Paramount? (with Lars J. Lefgren and Frank McIntyre) B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (Advances), 2010

Households often rely on professionals with specialized knowledge to make important financial decisions. In many cases, the professional’s financial interests are at odds with those of the client. We explore this problem in the context of personal bankruptcy. Both OLS and IV estimates show that attorneys play a central role in determining whether households file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. We present evidence suggesting that some attorneys maximize profits by steering households into Chapter 13 bankruptcy even when the households’ objective financial benefits are low and the probability of case dismissal is high. An attorney-induced Chapter 13 filing increases household legal fees and reduces the probability of long-term debt relief.

Provider payment methods and incentives International Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2007

There are many ways that health-care providers can be paid. In India, government physicians are paid a salary and in Canada physicians are generally paid according to a government-regulated fee schedule. In the Netherlands, however, office-based physicians ...

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Repeat Filers Under the BAPCPA: A Legal and Economic Analysis Social Sciences Research Network, 2007

On April 20, 2005, President Bush signed into law the Bankruptcy Abuse
Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). BAPCPA was hailed by some as a sensible overhaul of the bankruptcy code aimed towards decreasing repeat ...

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