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The Regulation of Consumer Financial Products: An Introductory Essay with Four Case Studies

Author

Listed:
  • Campbell, John Y.

    (Harvard University)

  • Jackson, Howell E.

    (Harvard University)

  • Madrian, Brigitte C.

    (Harvard University)

  • Tufano, Peter

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

The recent financial crisis has led many to question how well businesses deliver consumer financial services and how well regulatory institutions address problems in consumer financial markets. In response, the Obama administration proposed a new agency to oversee consumer financial services, and the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act embraced the Administration's proposal by creating the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Other regulatory reforms have been advanced, and in some cases adopted, in recent years, at both the federal and state level. In this paper, we provide an overview of consumer financial markets, detailing the purposes they serve, the extent to which they suffer from market failures or other deficiencies, and the structure of our current system of regulation. To illustrate our analytical framework, we present case studies on retirement savings, residential mortgages, payday lending, and mutual funds. We conclude with a series of observations on the limits of government intervention, suggestions about how to measure whether government intervention is successful, and potentially fruitful lines of future research and data collection.

Suggested Citation

  • Campbell, John Y. & Jackson, Howell E. & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Tufano, Peter, 2010. "The Regulation of Consumer Financial Products: An Introductory Essay with Four Case Studies," Working Paper Series rwp10-040, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp10-040
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Sandlant, 2012. "Consumer financial protection: future directions," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 1, pages 31-44, May.
    2. Anne-Sophie Bergerès & Philippe d'Astous & Georges Dionne, 2011. "Is there Any Dependence Between Consumer Credit Line Utilization and Default Probability on a Term Loan? Evidence from Bank-Level Data," Cahiers de recherche 1119, CIRPEE.
    3. Bergerès, Anne-Sophie & d'Astous, Philippe & Dionne, Georges, 2015. "Is there any dependence between consumer credit line utilization and default probability on a term loan? Evidence from bank-customer data," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 276-286.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • P46 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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