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The Cost of Distorted Financial Advice: Evidence from the Mortgage Market

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  • Gambacorta, Leonardo
  • Guiso, Luigi
  • Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio
  • Pozzi, Andrea
  • Tsoy, Anton

Abstract

Many households lack the sophistication required to make complex financial decisions and risk being exploited when seeking advice from intermediaries. We build a model of financial advice, in which banks attain their optimal mortgage portfolio by setting rates and providing advice to their clientele. �Sophisticated� households know which mortgage type is best for them; �naive� are susceptible to the bank's advice. Using data on the universe of Italian mortgages, we estimate the model and quantify the welfare implications of distorted financial advice. The average cost of the distortion is equivalent to an increase in the annual mortgage payment by 11%. However, since even distorted advice conveys information, banning advice altogether results in a loss of 998 euros per year on average. A financial literacy campaign is beneficial for naive households, but hurts sophisticated ones.

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  • Gambacorta, Leonardo & Guiso, Luigi & Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio & Pozzi, Andrea & Tsoy, Anton, 2017. "The Cost of Distorted Financial Advice: Evidence from the Mortgage Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 12115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12115
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Clark & Shaoteng Li, 2022. "The Strategic Response of Banks to Macroprudential Policies: Evidence from Mortgage Stress Tests in Canada [LIBOR manipulation?]," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 26(1), pages 187-216.
    2. Sébastien Houde & Erica Myers, 2019. "Heterogeneous (Mis-) Perceptions of Energy Costs: Implications for Measurement and Policy Design," NBER Working Papers 25722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sarah Auster & Nicola Pavoni, 2020. "Limited Awareness and Financial Intermediation," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 043, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    4. Francisco Gomes & Michael Haliassos & Tarun Ramadorai, 2021. "Household Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 919-1000, September.
    5. Matteo Benetton, 2021. "Leverage Regulation and Market Structure: A Structural Model of the U.K. Mortgage Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 76(6), pages 2997-3053, December.
    6. Vivek Bhattacharya & Gaston Illanes & Manisha Padi, 2019. "Fiduciary Duty and the Market for Financial Advice," NBER Working Papers 25861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mark L. Egan & Shan Ge & Johnny Tang, 2020. "Conflicting Interests and the Effect of Fiduciary Duty — Evidence from Variable Annuities," NBER Working Papers 27577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sarah Auster & Nicola Pavoni, 2018. "Optimal Delegation and Limited Awareness, with an Application to Financial Intermediation," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1869, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    9. Karakoç Gülen, 2022. "Cheap Talk with Multiple Experts and Uncertain Biases," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 22(2), pages 527-556, June.
    10. Deuflhard, Florian, 2018. "Quantifying inertia in retail deposit markets," SAFE Working Paper Series 223, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    11. Jonathan Gruber & Benjamin R. Handel & Samuel H. Kina & Jonathan T. Kolstad, 2020. "Managing Intelligence: Skilled Experts and AI in Markets for Complex Products," NBER Working Papers 27038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Gulen Karakoc, 2020. "Cheap Talk with Multiple Experts and Uncertain Biases," Working Papers 451, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics.
    13. Agnese Carella & Valentina Michelangeli, 2021. "Information or persuasion in the mortgage market: the role of brand names," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1340, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumer protection; distorted financial advice; mortgage market;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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