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Credit cards: use and consumer attitudes, 1970-2000


  • Thomas A. Durkin


From modest origins in the 1950s as a convenient way for the relatively well-to-do to settle restaurant and department store purchases without carrying cash, credit cards have become a ubiquitous financial product held by households in all economic strata. Since the late 1960s, much federal legislation has been enacted to ensure that consumers have the protections and information they need to use this widely available form of open-end credit wisely. Nevertheless, concerns persist about whether consumers fully understand the costs and implications of using credit cards and whether credit cards have encouraged widespread overindebtedness. Drawing on information from commercial banks, credit reporting agencies, and surveys of consumers, this article explores these issues as well as changes over the past three decades in consumer impressions of their card-using experiences and of conditions in the marketplace.

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  • Thomas A. Durkin, 2000. "Credit cards: use and consumer attitudes, 1970-2000," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Sep, pages 623-634.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:y:2000:i:sep:p:623-634:n:v.86no.9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David B. Gordon & Ross Levine, 1988. "The capital flight "problem."," International Finance Discussion Papers 320, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Steven B. Kamin & Robert B. Kahn & Ross Levine, 1989. "External debt and developing country growth," International Finance Discussion Papers 352, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Carol C. Bertaut & Michael Haliassos, 2001. "Debt Revolvers for Self Control," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 0208, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    2. Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Debit or credit?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 358-366, February.
    3. Fenaba Addo, 2014. "Debt, Cohabitation, and Marriage in Young Adulthood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1677-1701, October.
    4. Igor Livshits & James C. Mac Gee & Michèle Tertilt, 2016. "The Democratization of Credit and the Rise in Consumer Bankruptcies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1673-1710.
    5. Steven J. Davis & Felix Kubler & Paul Willen, 2006. "Borrowing Costs and the Demand for Equity over the Life Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 348-362, May.
    6. J. Michael Collins & John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri, 2013. "The Assets and Liabilities of Cohorts: The Antecedents of Retirement Security," Working Papers wp296, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    7. Irina A. Telyukova, 2013. "Household Need for Liquidity and the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1148-1177.
    8. Hurst, Erik & Willen, Paul, 2007. "Social security and unsecured debt," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1273-1297, August.
    9. Paul Heidhues & Botond Koszegi, 2010. "Exploiting Naivete about Self-Control in the Credit Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2279-2303, December.
    10. Lydia L. Gan & Ramin C. Maysami & Hian Chye Koh, 2005. "Profiles, Use, and Perceptions of Singapore Multiple Credit Cardholders," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 0513, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
    11. Lawrence M. Berger & J. Michael Collins & Laura Cuesta, 2016. "Household Debt and Adult Depressive Symptoms in the United States," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 42-57, March.
    12. Brian Mantel & Timothy McHugh, 2001. "Competition and innovation in the consumer e-payments market? considering the demand, supply, and public policy issues," Occasional Paper; Emerging Payments EPS-2001-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    13. Edward C. Lawrence & Gregory Elliehausen, 2008. "A Comparative Analysis Of Payday Loan Customers," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 299-316, April.
    14. Sebastian Barnes & Garry Young, 2003. "The rise in US household debt: assessing its causes and sustainability," Bank of England working papers 206, Bank of England.
    15. Lydia L. Gan & Ramin Cooper Maysami, 2006. "Credit Card Selection Criteria: Singapore Perspective," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 0610, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
    16. Juan Pablo Montero & Jorge Tarziján, 2010. "El éxito de las casas comerciales en Chile: ¿Regulación o buena gestión?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 565, Central Bank of Chile.

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    Credit cards ; Consumer behavior;


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