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Consumer Credit: Evidence from Italian Micro Data

  • Alessie, Rob
  • Hochguertel, Stefan
  • Weber, Guglielmo

In this Paper we analyse unique data on credit applications received by the leading provider of consumer credit in Italy (Findomestic). The data set covers a five year period (1995-99) during which the consumer credit market rapidly expanded in Italy and a new law came into force that set a limit to interest rates charged to consumers (the usury law). We investigate ways in which the law may have affected the consumer credit market and show how the applicants’ pool has changed over time in comparison to a representative sample of the Italian population. We compute behavioural changes by controlling for changes in the observable characteristics of the Findomestic clientele and argue that, under suitable identifying assumptions, these changes can be given a structural interpretation. If the usury shock is assumed to have affected credit supply but not credit demand, that is if the usury law had a differential impact on the supply of various types of credit but a uniform impact on demand , we can identify and estimate a demand equation. Our key finding is that demand is interest rate elastic, particularly in the North, where the consumer credit market is more competitive.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3071.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3071
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  1. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 1998. "Private Transfers, Borrowing Constraints and the Timing of Homeownership," CEPR Discussion Papers 2050, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. J, A, Abowd & Bruno Crépon & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "Moment Estimation with Attrition," Working Papers 97-35, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Orazio P. Attanasio & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 2008. "Credit Constraints In The Market For Consumer Durables: Evidence From Micro Data On Car Loans," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 401-436, 05.
  4. repec:fth:inseep:9735 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Crepon, Bruno & Kramarz, Francis & Trognon, Alain, 1997. "Parameters of interest, nuisance parameters and orthogonality conditions An application to autoregressive error component models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 135-156.
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