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Are Information Disclosures Effective? Evidence from the Credit Card Market


  • Enrique Seira
  • Alan Elizondo
  • Eduardo Laguna-Müggenburg


Consumer protection in financial markets in the form of information disclosure is high on government agendas, even though there is little evidence of its effectiveness. We implement a randomized control trial in the credit card market for a large population of indebted cardholders and measure the impact of Truth-in-Lending-Act-type disclosures, de-biasing warning messages and social comparison information on default, indebtedness, account closings, and credit scores. We conduct extensive external validity exercises in several banks, with different disclosures, and with actual policy mandates. We find that providing salient interest rate disclosures had no effects, while comparisons and de-biasing messages had only modest effects at best.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique Seira & Alan Elizondo & Eduardo Laguna-Müggenburg, 2017. "Are Information Disclosures Effective? Evidence from the Credit Card Market," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 277-307, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:277-307
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20140404

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brian T. Melzer, 2011. "The Real Costs of Credit Access: Evidence from the Payday Lending Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 517-555.
    2. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
    3. Durkin, Thomas A. & Elliehausen, Gregory, 2011. "Truth in Lending: Theory, History, and a Way Forward," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195172959.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance


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