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Credit card use after the final mortgage payment: does the magnitude of income shocks matter?

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  • Scholnick, Barry
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    Abstract

    We test the hypothesis that consumption smoothing occurs after large, but not small, expected future income shocks. Even though this hypothesis has often been discussed, formal evidence in support of it is rare. We use individual level, monthly, bank account data to examine how expected income shocks from final mortgage payments impact credit card consumption, and the repayment of credit card debt. Our data allows us to identify the exact magnitude and date of final mortgage payments, and also to exploit the random timing of these expected income shocks across individuals. Our results are consistent with the magnitude hypothesis. JEL Classification:

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1142.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091142

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    Keywords: credit card; final mortgage payment; income shocks; monthly mortgage account;

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    1. Souleles, Nicholas S., 2002. "Consumer response to the Reagan tax cuts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-120, July.
    2. Sumit Agarwal & John C Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2008. "Learning in the Credit Card Market," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002028, David K. Levine.
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    5. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2003. "The Consumption Response to Predictable Changes in Discretionary Income: Evidence from the Repayment of Vehicle Loans," NBER Working Papers 9976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "An Empirical Analysis of Personal Bankruptcy and Delinquency," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-28, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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    8. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "The reaction of consumer spending and debt to tax rebates – evidence from consumer credit data," Working Paper Series WP-07-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Consumer Response to the Timing of Income: Evidence from a Change in Tax Withholding," NBER Working Papers 4344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. 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.
    14. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2006. "Do consumers choose the right credit contracts?," Working Paper Series WP-06-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    15. Brahima Coulibaly & Geng Li, 2006. "Do Homeowners Increase Consumption after the Last Mortgage Payment? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 10-19, February.
    16. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2002. "'3rd of tha Month': Do Social Security Recipients Smooth Consumption Between Checks?," NBER Working Papers 9135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 2003. "Do Consumers React to Anticipated Income Changes? Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 397-405, March.
    18. Souleles, Nicholas S., 2000. "College tuition and household savings and consumption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 185-207, August.
    19. 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.
    20. Melvin Stephens, 2001. "The Long-Run Consumption Effects Of Earnings Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 28-36, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Iftekhar Hasan & Heiko Schmiedel & Liang Song, 2012. "Returns to Retail Banking and Payments," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 163-195, June.

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