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Credit Card Debt Puzzles and Debt Revolvers for Self Control

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  • Carol C. Bertaut
  • Michael Haliassos
  • Michael Reiter

Abstract

Most US credit card holders revolve high-interest debt, often with substantial liquid and retirement assets. We model separation of accounting from shopping allowed by credit cards, in a rational, dynamic game. When the shopper is more impatient than the accountant, selling assets to repay debt is not necessarily optimal, as the shopper can restore debt. Modest relative impatience generates asset-debt co-existence and target utilization rates, matching incidence and median assets of debt revolvers with substantial assets. Empirical evidence is consistent with a role for spending control considerations, after allowing for standard determinants of credit card debt. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol C. Bertaut & Michael Haliassos & Michael Reiter, 2009. "Credit Card Debt Puzzles and Debt Revolvers for Self Control," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 13(4), pages 657-692.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:13:y:2009:i:4:p:657-692
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rof/rfn033
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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Meta & Haughwout, Andrew F. & Lee, Donghoon & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2015. "Do we know what we owe? Consumer debt as reported by borrowers and lenders," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue 21-1, pages 19-44.
    2. Berg, Nathan & Kim, Jeong-Yoo, 2010. "Demand for Self Control: A model of Consumer Response to Programs and Products that Moderate Consumption," MPRA Paper 26593, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 193-210, January.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    5. Shuying Shen & Abdoul G. Sam & Eugene Jones, 2014. "Credit Card Indebtedness and Psychological Well-Being Over Time: Empirical Evidence from a Household Survey," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 431-456, October.
    6. Ulf Von Kalckreuth & Tobias Schmidt & Helmut Stix, 2014. "Using Cash to Monitor Liquidity: Implications for Payments, Currency Demand, and Withdrawal Behavior," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(8), pages 1753-1786, December.
    7. Mankart, Jochen, 2014. "The (Un-) importance of Chapter 7 wealth exemption levels," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-16.
    8. 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.
    9. Biljanovska, Nina & Palligkinis, Spyros, 2014. "Control thyself: Self-control failure and household wealth," SAFE Working Paper Series 69, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    10. Carolina Laureti, 2015. "The Debt Puzzle in Dhaka’s Slums: Do Poor People Co-hold for Liquidity Needs?," Working Papers CEB 15-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Brown, Meta & Haughwout, Andrew F. & Lee, Donghoon & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2011. "Do we know what we owe? A comparison of borrower- and lender-reported consumer debt," Staff Reports 523, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Oct 2013.
    12. Gathergood, John & Weber, Jörg, 2014. "Self-control, financial literacy & the co-holding puzzle," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PB), pages 455-469.
    13. Fulford, Scott L., 2015. "How important is variability in consumer credit limits?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 42-63.
    14. repec:kap:theord:v:84:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9641-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Carolina Laureti, 2017. "Why do Poor People Co-hold Debt and Liquid Savings?," Working Papers CEB 17-007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Luik, Marc-André & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2016. "Immigrant-native differences in stockholding – The role of cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 103-119.
    17. repec:oup:rcorpf:v:4:y:2015:i:2:p:239-257. is not listed on IDEAS

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