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Revolving credit lines and targeted search

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  • Raveendranathan, Gajendran

Abstract

I propose a model of revolving credit lines and targeted search to analyze what accounts for the profitability of the U.S. credit card industry. My analyses lead to two main findings. First, the search friction has minimal impact on the level of profitability of the credit card industry. Most of the profitability is a result of the lender choosing the terms of contract. Second, improved information about consumers accounts for the fall in profitability since the 1980s. Consistent with the data, lenders respond to more information by increasing credit card limits and lowering markups.

Suggested Citation

  • Raveendranathan, Gajendran, 2020. "Revolving credit lines and targeted search," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:118:y:2020:i:c:s0165188920301329
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2020.103964
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jaromir B. Nosal & Lukasz A. Drozd, 2008. "Competing for Customers: A Search Model of the Market for Unsecured Credit," 2008 Meeting Papers 274, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Accounting for the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 165-193, April.
    3. Kyle F Herkenhoff, 2019. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(6), pages 2605-2642.
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    16. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Gajendran Raveendranathan, 2019. "Who Bears the Welfare Costs of Monopoly? The Case of the Credit Card Industry," Working Papers 2019-071, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
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    18. Exler, Florian & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "Consumer Debt and Default: A Macroeconomic Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 14425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Gajendran Raveendranathan & Georgios Stefanidis, 2020. "The Unprecedented Fall in U.S. Revolving Credit," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-05, McMaster University.
    20. J. Carter Braxton & Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2018. "Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance," 2018 Meeting Papers 564, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Gajendran Raveendranathan, 2019. "Who Bears the Welfare Costs of Monopoly? The Case of the Credit Card Industry," Working Papers 2019-071, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Zachary Bethune & Guillaume Rocheteau & Russell Wong & Cathy Zhang, 2020. "Lending Relationships and Optimal Monetary Policy," Working Paper 20-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    3. Kyle Dempsey & Felicia Ionescu, 2021. "Lending Standards and Borrowing Premia in Unsecured Credit Markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-039, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Gajendran Raveendranathan & Georgios Stefanidis, 2022. "Designing “Win-Win” Rate Caps," Department of Economics Working Papers 2022-03, McMaster University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Revolving credit lines; Targeted search; Consumer bankruptcy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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