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When irrelevant alternatives do matter. The effect of focusing on loan decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Barna Bakó

    (Corvinus University of Budapest)

  • Gábor Neszveda

    (Tilburg University)

  • Linda Dezső

    (University of Vienna)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate some implications of recent results about salience on loan decisions. Using the framework of focus-weighted utility we show that consumers might take out loans even when that yield them negative utility due to the focusing bias. We suggest, however, that this can be counterbalanced and consumers might be more prudent in their decisions and less likely to take out such loans when the usual fixed-installments plan is coupled with an equivalent decreasing-installments option. Moreover, we show that this is true even for loans with prepayment options or when borrowers take default into consideration. We argue that harmful loan consumption could be decreased if a policy would prescribe presentation of loan repayment schedules in a way that employs this effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Barna Bakó & Gábor Neszveda & Linda Dezső, 2018. "When irrelevant alternatives do matter. The effect of focusing on loan decisions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 123-141, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:84:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9641-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s11238-017-9641-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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