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Factors Driving the Credit Card Ownership in Italy


  • Alessandra Amendola
  • Alfonso Pellecchia
  • Luca Sensini


The aim of this paper is to explore the main determinants of credit card ownership by analyzing the variables that may affect the decision to hold a credit card. Using the 2012 Survey on Household Income and Wealth provided by the Bank of Italy as main source, we estimated count data models in order to identify the socio-economic, demographic and territorial variables affecting the credit card accounts held by households. Our estimates give evidence of the significance of the considered factors. In particular, we find that geographical location is an important determinant of families behavior in line with the socio-economic gap between the North and the South of Italy. Other relevant variables acting on the number of credit cards held are age, income, municipality size, gender, education and marital status. The reached results are interesting in depicting the main characteristics of cardholders and in helping the implementation of a segment-specific marketing program in the banking services industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Amendola & Alfonso Pellecchia & Luca Sensini, 2016. "Factors Driving the Credit Card Ownership in Italy," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(6), pages 131-142, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibn:ibrjnl:v:9:y:2016:i:6:p:131-142

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Matthew J. Bernthal & David Crockett & Randall L. Rose, 2005. "Credit Cards as Lifestyle Facilitators," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 130-145, June.
    2. Rüştü YAYAR & Süleyman Serdar KARACA, 2012. "Identifying The Factors Affecting The Consumer Credit Card Ownership: Empirical Evidence From Turkey," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 7(2(20)/ Su), pages 195-204.
    3. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
    4. Ausubel, Lawrence M, 1991. "The Failure of Competition in the Credit Card Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 50-81, March.
    5. John Gathergood & Joerg Weber, 2012. "Self-Control, Financial Literacy and Co-Holding Puzzle," Discussion Papers 2012-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    6. Edward Castronova & Paul Hagstrom, 2004. "The Demand for Credit Cards: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 304-318, April.
    7. Andrew K.G. Tan & Steven T. Yen & Yiing Jia Loke, 2011. "Credit card holders, convenience users and revolvers: A tobit model with binary selection and ordinal treatment," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 14, pages 225-255, November.
    8. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henriques, David, 2018. "Cards on the table: efficiency and welfare effects of the no-surcharge rule," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 90664, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item


    count-data models; credit card ownership; variable selection;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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