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The Importance of Adverse Selection in the Credit Card Market: Evidence from Randomized Trials of Credit Card Solicitations

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  • SUMIT AGARWAL
  • SOUPHALA CHOMSISENGPHET
  • CHUNLIN LIU

Abstract

Analyzing unique data from multiple large-scale randomized marketing trials of preapproved credit card solicitations by a large financial institution, we find that consumers responding to the lender's "inferior" solicitation offers have poorer credit quality attributes. This finding supports the argument that riskier type borrowers are liquidity or credit constrained and, thus, have higher reservation loan interest rates. We also find a more severe deterioration "ex post" in the credit quality of the booked accounts of inferior offer types relative to superior offers. After controlling for a cardholder's observable risk attributes, demographic characteristics, and adverse economic shocks, we find that cardholders who responded to the inferior credit card offers are significantly more likely to default "ex post". Our results provide evidence on the importance of adverse selection effects in the credit card market. Copyright (c) 2010 The Ohio State University.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Chunlin Liu, 2010. "The Importance of Adverse Selection in the Credit Card Market: Evidence from Randomized Trials of Credit Card Solicitations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 743-754, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:42:y:2010:i:4:p:743-754
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    Cited by:

    1. Deryugina, Tatyana, 2012. "Does Selection in Insurance Markets Always Favor Buyers?," MPRA Paper 53583, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Abbas Valadkhani & Sajid Anwar & Amir Arjonandi, 2012. "How to capture the full extent of price stickiness in credit card interest rates?," Economics Working Papers wp12-02, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    3. Fedaseyeu, Viktar & Hunt, Robert M., 2014. "The economics of debt collection: enforcement of consumer credit contracts," Working Papers 14-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    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. Baldwin, Kate & Bhavnani, Rikhil R., 2013. "Ancillary Experiments: Opportunities and Challenges," WIDER Working Paper Series 024, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Chunlin Liu, 2016. "An Empirical Analysis of Information Asymmetry in Home Equity Lending," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 101-119, February.
    7. Baldwin Kate & Bhavnani Rikhil R., 2015. "Ancillary Studies of Experiments: Opportunities and Challenges," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 113-146, June.
    8. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Neale Mahoney & Johannes Ströbel, 2015. "Do Banks Pass Through Credit Expansions? The Marginal Profitability of Consumer Lending During the Great Recession," CESifo Working Paper Series 5521, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Sumit Agarwal & Sujit Chakravorti & Anna Lunn, 2010. "Why do banks reward their customers to use their credit cards?," Working Paper Series WP-2010-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    10. Beck, Thorsten & Brown, Martin, 2015. "Foreign bank ownership and household credit," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 466-486.
    11. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Neale Mahoney & Johannes Stroebel, 2015. "Do Banks Pass Through Credit Expansions to Consumers Who Want to Borrow?," NBER Working Papers 21567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Kevin Amess & Leigh Drake & Helen Knight, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of UK Credit Card Pricing," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 37(2), pages 101-117, September.

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