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Learning in the Credit Card Market

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  • Sumit Agarwal
  • John C Driscoll
  • Xavier Gabaix
  • David Laibson

Abstract

Agents with more experience make better choices. We measure learning dynamics using a panel with four million monthly credit card statements. We study add-on fees, specifically cash advance, late payment, and overlimit fees. New credit card accounts generate fee payments of $15 per month. Through negative feedback -- i.e. paying a fee -- consumers learn to avoid triggering future fees. Paying a fee last month reduces the likelihood of paying a fee in the current month by about 40%. Controlling for account fixed effects, monthly fee payments fall by 75% during the first three years of account life. We find that learning is not monotonic. Knowledge effectively depreciates about 10% per month, implying that learning displays a strong recency effect.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 122247000000002028.

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Date of creation: 21 Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:122247000000002028

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Cited by:
  1. Adam Szeidl & Botond Koszegi, 2011. "A Model of Focusing in Economic Choice," 2011 Meeting Papers 1441, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2008. "How are Preferences Revealed?," NBER Working Papers 13976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kristopher Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Stephan Meier, 2010. "Financial literacy and subprime mortgage delinquency: evidence from a survey matched to administrative data," Working Paper 2010-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Sumit Agarwal & Paige Marta Skiba & Jeremy Tobacman, 2009. "Payday Loans and Credit Cards: New Liquidity and Credit Scoring Puzzles?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 412-17, May.
  5. Carin van der Cruijsen & Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen & Robert Mosch, 2011. "Household savings behaviour in crisis times," DNB Working Papers 315, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  6. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Scholnick, Barry, 2009. "Credit card use after the final mortgage payment: does the magnitude of income shocks matter?," Working Paper Series 1142, European Central Bank.
  8. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "What Do Consumers Really Pay on Their Checking and Credit Card Accounts? Explicit, Implicit, and Avoidable Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 424-29, May.
  9. Laibson, David I. & Agarwal, Sumit & Driscoll, John C. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2009. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life-Cycle with Implications for Regulation," Scholarly Articles 4554335, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2013. "Learning with Recency Bias," Levine's Bibliography 786969000000000846, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 2011. "Limited and Varying Consumer Attention: Evidence from Shocks to the Salience of Bank Overdraft Fees," NBER Working Papers 17028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2009. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life Cycle and Implications for Regulation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 51-117.
  13. Bubb, Ryan & Kaufman, Alex, 2013. "Consumer biases and mutual ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 39-57.

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