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Do Consumers Choose the Right Credit Contracts?

Author

Listed:
  • Sumit Agarwal
  • Souphala Chomsisengphet
  • Chunlin Liu
  • Nicholas S. Souleles

Abstract

We analyze an experiment conducted by a large U.S. bank that offered consumers achoice between two credit card contracts, one with an annual fee but a lowerinterest rate and one with no annual fee but a higher interest rate. We findthat on average consumers chose the credit contract that minimized their costs.A substantial fraction of consumers (about 40%) still chose the suboptimalcontract. Nonetheless, the probability of choosing the suboptimal contractdeclines with the dollar magnitude of the potential error, and consumers withlarger errors are more likely to subsequently switch to the optimalcontract.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2015. "Do Consumers Choose the Right Credit Contracts?," Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 239-257.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rcorpf:v:4:y:2015:i:2:p:239-257.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Francisco Gomes & Michael Haliassos & Tarun Ramadorai, 2021. "Household Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 919-1000, September.
    4. Exler, Florian & Livshits, Igor & MacGee, Jim & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "Consumer Credit with Over-Optimistic Borrowers," CEPR Discussion Papers 15570, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Wei, Li & Peng, Ming & Wu, Weixing, 2021. "Financial literacy and fraud detection——Evidence from China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 478-494.
    6. Lukasz Drozd & Michal Kowalik, 2019. "Credit Cards and the Great Recession: The Collapse of Teasers," 2019 Meeting Papers 1047, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Antonia Gipp, 2022. "The Impact of Price Display on Financial Decisions," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 140, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Paul D. Adams & Stefan Hunt & Christopher Palmer & Redis Zaliauskas, 2019. "Testing the Effectiveness of Consumer Financial Disclosure: Experimental Evidence from Savings Accounts," NBER Working Papers 25718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marc Arnold & Dustin Schuette & Alexander Wagner, 2021. "Neglected Risk in Financial Innovation: Evidence from Structured Product Counterparty Exposure," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 27(2), pages 287-325, March.
    10. Terence J. McElvaney & Peter D. Lunn & Féidhlim P. McGowan, 2018. "Do Consumers Understand PCP Car Finance? An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 229-255, September.
    11. Lukas, M., 2019. "Relative prices and product substitution: Evidence from shocks to consumer credit interest rates," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 39-49.
    12. Cumming, Fergus, 2022. "Mortgage cash-flows and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    13. Lunn, Pete & McGowan, Féidhlim & Howard, Noel, 2018. "Do some financial product features negatively affect consumer decisions? a review of evidence," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS78, March.
    14. Cumming, Fergus, 2018. "Mortgages, cash-flow shocks and local employment," Bank of England working papers 773, Bank of England.
    15. Campbell, Daniel & Grant, Andrew & Thorp, Susan, 2022. "Reducing credit card delinquency using repayment reminders," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    16. Adams, Paul & Hunt, Stefan & Palmer, Christopher & Zaliauskas, Redis, 2021. "Testing the effectiveness of consumer financial disclosure: Experimental evidence from savings accounts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 122-147.
    17. Lunn, Pete & Bohacek, Marek & McGowan, Feidhlim, 2016. "The Surplus Identification Task and Limits to Multi-Attribute Consumer Choice," Papers WP536, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    18. Hong Ru & Antoinette Schoar, 2020. "Do credit card companies screen for behavioural biases?," BIS Working Papers 842, Bank for International Settlements.
    19. Neil Bhutta & Jacob Goldin & Tatiana Homonoff, 2016. "Consumer Borrowing after Payday Loan Bans," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(1), pages 225-259.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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