Information Disclosure, Cognitive Biases, and Payday Borrowing
AbstractIf people face cognitive limitations or biases that lead to financial mistakes, what are possible ways lawmakers can help? One approach is to remove the option of the bad decision; another approach is to increase financial education such that individuals can reason through choices when they arise. A third, less discussed, approach is to mandate disclosure of information in a form that enables people to overcome limitations or biases at the point of the decision. This third approach is the topic of this paper. We study whether and what information can be disclosed to payday loan borrowers to lower their use of high-cost debt via a field experiment at a national chain of payday lenders. We find that information that helps people think less narrowly (over time) about the cost of payday borrowing, and in particular information that reinforces the adding-up effect over pay cycles of the dollar fees incurred on a payday loan, reduces the take-up of payday loans by about 10 percent in a 4 month-window following exposure to the new information. Overall, our results suggest that consumer information regulations based on a deeper understanding of cognitive biases might be an effective policy tool when it comes to regulating payday borrowing, and possibly other financial and non-financial products.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Finance Association in its journal Journal of Finance.
Volume (Year): 66 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Other versions of this item:
- Marianne Bertrand & Adair Morse, 2009. "Information Disclosure, Cognitive Biases and Payday Borrowing," Working Papers 2009-007, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2008. "Discounting Financial Literacy: Time Preferences and Participation in Financial Education Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 3507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett & Dean M. Maki, 1997.
"Education and Saving: The Long-Term Effects of High School Financial Curriculum Mandates,"
97012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M. & Maki, Dean M., 2001. "Education and saving:: The long-term effects of high school financial curriculum mandates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 435-465, June.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett & Dean M. Maki, 1997. "Education and Saving: The Long-Term Effects of High School Financial Curriculum Mandates," NBER Working Papers 6085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
- Edward C. Lawrence & Gregory Elliehausen, 2008. "A Comparative Analysis Of Payday Loan Customers," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 299-316, 04.
- Jonathan Zinman, 2008.
"Restricting consumer credit access: household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap,"
08-32, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Zinman, Jonathan, 2010. "Restricting consumer credit access: Household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 546-556, March.
- Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2007.
"Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: New Evidence from the Rand American Life Panel,"
wp157, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
- Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Financial literacy and retirement planning: New evidence from the Rand American Life Panel," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/33, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Donald P. Morgan & Michael R. Strain, 2007. "Payday holiday: how households fare after payday credit bans," Staff Reports 309, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-97, December.
- Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
- Hoch, Stephen J & Loewenstein, George F, 1991. " Time-Inconsistent Preferences and Consumer Self-Control," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 492-507, March.
- Cambpbell, John Y. & Jackson, Howell Edmunds & Madrian, Brigitte & Tufano, Peter, 2010.
"The Regulation of Consumer Financial Products: An Introductory Essay with Four Case Studies,"
4450128, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
- Campbell, John Y. & Jackson, Howell E. & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Tufano, Peter, 2010. "The Regulation of Consumer Financial Products: An Introductory Essay with Four Case Studies," Working Paper Series rwp10-040, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Campbell, John Y. & Jackson, Howell E. & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Tufano, Peter, 2010. "The Regulation of Consumer Financial Products: An Introductory Essay with Four Case Studies," Working paper 631, Regulation2point0.
- Murizah Osman Salleh & Aziz Jaafar & M. Shahid Ebrahim, 2012. "Can an interest-free credit facility be more efficient than a usurious payday loan?," Working Papers 12008, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
- Willem Boom, 2011. "Price Intransparency, Consumer Decision Making and European Consumer Law," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 359-376, September.
- Theresa Kuchler, 2013. "Sticking to Your Plan: Hyperbolic Discounting and Credit Card Debt Paydown," Discussion Papers 12-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Dean Karlan & Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda," Working Papers 1027, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Kalaycı, Kenan & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2012. "Complexity and Narrow Bracketing in Credit Choice," Discussion Papers in Economics 13035, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Winter, Joachim & Lührmann, Melanie & Serra Garcia, Marta, 2013. "The effects of financial literacy training: Evidence from a field experiment in German high schools," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79744, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Teaching teenagers in finance: does it work?," Discussion Papers in Economics 14101, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.