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Financial Advice

Author

Listed:
  • Roman Inderst
  • Marco Ottaviani

Abstract

Financial advice could play an essential role in well-functioning markets for retail financial products, given that many consumers find it difficult to evaluate the complex products on offer. However, conflicts of interest, which are pervasive in some parts of the industry, can turn advice into a curse rather than a blessing for consumers, especially when consumers are not sufficiently wary. Through a simple model of financial advice, we overview the pros and cons of various policy interventions, such as imposing mandatory disclosure, banning commissions, and regulating contract cancellation terms. (JEL D14, D18, G21, G28)

Suggested Citation

  • Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2012. "Financial Advice," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 494-512, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:50:y:2012:i:2:p:494-512
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.2.494
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jel.50.2.494
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hackethal, Andreas & Haliassos, Michael & Jappelli, Tullio, 2012. "Financial advisors: A case of babysitters?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 509-524.
    2. Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2010. "Consumer Protection in Markets with Advice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
    3. Carlin, Bruce I., 2009. "Strategic price complexity in retail financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 278-287, March.
    4. Santosh Anagol & Shawn Cole & Shayak Sarkar, 2012. "Understanding the Advice of Commissions-Motivated Agents: Evidence from the Indian Life Insurance Market," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-055, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2015.
    5. Cynthia J. Pahl, 2007. "A compilation of state mortgage broker laws and regulations, 1996-2006," Community Affairs Report 2007-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    7. Sendhil Mullainathan & Markus Noeth & Antoinette Schoar, 2012. "The Market for Financial Advice: An Audit Study," NBER Working Papers 17929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2012. "Competition through Commissions and Kickbacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 780-809, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeff Butler & Paola Giuliano & Luigi Guiso, 2016. "Trust and Cheating," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(595), pages 1703-1738, September.
    2. Schumacher, Heiner, 2014. "Incentives through consumer learning about tastes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 170-177.
    3. Mark Armstrong, 2015. "Search and Ripoff Externalities," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(3), pages 273-302, November.
    4. Paul Pautler, 2015. "A Brief History of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics: Reports, Mergers, and Information Regulation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 46(1), pages 59-94, February.
    5. Gathergood, John & Weber, Jörg, 2017. "Financial literacy, present bias and alternative mortgage products," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 58-83.
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:287-316 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Michael Grubb, 2015. "Failing to Choose the Best Price: Theory, Evidence, and Policy," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(3), pages 303-340, November.
    8. Paiella, Monica, 2016. "Financial literacy and subjective expectations questions: A validation exercise," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 360-374.
    9. Jonathan Zinman, 2014. "Consumer Credit: Too Much or Too Little (or Just Right)?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(S2), pages 209-237.
    10. Dahlquist, Magnus & Martinez, José Vicente & Söderlind, Paul, 2012. "Individual Investor Activity and Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Calcagno, Riccardo & Giofré, Maela & Urzì-Brancati, Maria Cesira, 2017. "To trust is good, but to control is better: How investors discipline financial advisors’ activity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 287-316.
    12. Salvatore Piccolo & Giovanni W. Puopolo & Luis Vasconcelos, 2016. "Non-Exclusive Financial Advice," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2123.
    13. Ugo Panizza, 2015. "Billions on the Sidewalk: Improving Savings by Reducing Investment Mistakes," IHEID Working Papers 18-2015, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    14. Job Harms & S. Rosenkranz & M.W.J.L. Sanders, 2017. "Choice Complexity, Benchmarks and Costly Information," Working Papers 17-07, Utrecht School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • 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

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