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Borrowing on the Wrong Credit Card:Evidence from Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Alejandro Ponce

    (World Justice Project)

  • Enrique Seira

    (Centro de Investigación Económica (CIE), Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM))

  • Guillermo Zamarripa

    (FUNDEF, México)

Abstract

We study how consumers allocate debt across credit cards they already hold using new data on credit card activity for a representative sample of consumers with two homogeneous cards in Mexico. We find that relative prices are a very weak predictor of the allocation of debt, purchases, and payments. On average, consumers pay 31% above their minimum financing cost. Evidence on cross-card debt elasticities with respect to interest rates and credit limits show no substitution in the price margin. Our findings offer evidence against the cost-minimizing hypothesis, provide support to behavioral explanations, and have important implications for pricing and competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Ponce & Enrique Seira & Guillermo Zamarripa, 2014. "Borrowing on the Wrong Credit Card:Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 1406, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  • Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:1406
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    File URL: http://ftp.itam.mx/pub/academico/inves/seira/14-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tatiana Homonoff & Rourke O'Brien & Abigail B. Sussman, 2019. "Does Knowing Your FICO Score Change Financial Behavior? Evidence from a Field Experiment with Student Loan Borrowers," NBER Working Papers 26048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alejandro Ponce & Enrique Seira & Guillermo Zamarripa, 2017. "Borrowing on the Wrong Credit Card? Evidence from Mexico," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1335-1361, April.
    3. Pavlo Illiashenko, 2017. "Behavioral Finance: Household Investment and Borrowing Decisions," Visnyk of the National Bank of Ukraine, National Bank of Ukraine, issue 242, pages 28-48.
    4. Kondratjeva, Olga & Roll, Stephen P. & Bufe, Sam & Grinstein-Weiss, Michal, 2021. "Using financial tips to guide debt repayment: Experimental evidence from low- and moderate-income tax filers," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    5. Cifuentes, Rodrigo & Margaretic, Paula & Saavedra, Trinidad, 2020. "Measuring households' financial vulnerabilities from consumer debt: Evidence from Chile," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    6. John Gathergood & Neale Mahoney & Neil Stewart & Jörg Weber, 2019. "How Do Individuals Repay Their Debt? The Balance-Matching Heuristic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(3), pages 844-875, March.
    7. Gomes, Francisco J & Haliassos, Michael & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2020. "Household Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 14502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Francisco Gomes & Michael Haliassos & Tarun Ramadorai, 2021. "Household Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 919-1000, September.
    9. Yu, Pei Cheng, 2020. "Seemingly exploitative contracts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 299-320.
    10. 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.
    11. John Gathergood & Neale Mahoney & Neil Stewart & Jörg Weber, 2019. "How do Americans repay their debt? The balance-matching heuristic," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(2), pages 1458-1466.
    12. Stephen Brown & Chris Veld & Yulia Veld‐Merkoulova, 2020. "Credit Cards: Transactional Convenience or Debt‐Trap?," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 295-322, June.
    13. Edika G. Quispe-Torreblanca & Neil Stewart & John Gathergood & George Loewenstein, 2019. "The Red, the Black, and the Plastic: Paying Down Credit Card Debt for Hotels, Not Sofas," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(11), pages 5392-5410, November.
    14. Keys, Benjamin J. & Wang, Jialan, 2019. "Minimum payments and debt paydown in consumer credit cards," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(3), pages 528-548.
    15. 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.
    16. Schmid, Christian P. R. & Schreiner, Nicolas & Stutzer, Alois, 2020. "Transfer Payment Systems and Financial Distress: Insights from Health Insurance Premium Subsidies," IZA Discussion Papers 13767, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Jacques Lartigue-Mendoza & Kenneth Azael Ayala-Navarro & Gustavo Enrique Sauri-Alpuche, 2020. "Competition Conditions and Market Power in the Mexican Commercial Banking Market. A Microeconomic Theoretical Approach," Revista Finanzas y Politica Economica, Universidad Católica de Colombia, vol. 12(2), pages 367-402, August.
    18. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Shaoteng Li & Nicolas Vincent, 2021. "Debt-Relief Programs and Money Left on the Table: Evidence from Canada's Response to COVID-19," Staff Working Papers 21-13, Bank of Canada.
    19. Brevoort, Kenneth & Grodzicki, Daniel & Hackmann, Martin B., 2020. "The credit consequences of unpaid medical bills," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit cards; household finance; consumer behavior; Mexico;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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