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Impatience and credit behavior: evidence from a field experiment

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  • Stephan Meier
  • Charles Sprenger

Abstract

This paper tests whether heterogeneity of time preferences can explain individual credit behavior. In a field experiment targeting individuals from low-to-moderate income households, we measure individual time preferences through choice experiments, and then match these time preference measures to individual credit reports and annual tax returns. ; We find that, controlling for disposable income and other individual characteristics, individuals who are less patient have lower credit scores and higher default rates. Moreover, people with dynamically inconsistent (quasi-hyperbolic) preferences have higher active borrowing levels.

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  • Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2007. "Impatience and credit behavior: evidence from a field experiment," Working Papers 07-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:07-3
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    Cited by:

    1. Fehr, Ernst & Leibbrandt, Andreas, 2008. "Cooperativeness and Impatience in the Tragedy of the Commons," IZA Discussion Papers 3625, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Charles Sprenger & Joanna Stavins, 2008. "Credit card debt and payment use," Working Papers 08-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Collins, J. Michael, 2013. "The impacts of mandatory financial education: Evidence from a randomized field study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 146-158.
    4. Marco Castillo & Paul Ferraro & Jeff Jordan & Ragan Petrie, 2008. "The Today and Tomorrow of Kids," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2008-10, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    5. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2010. "Social Identity and Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1913-1928, September.
    6. Sarah Jacobson & Ragan Petrie, 2009. "Learning from mistakes: What do inconsistent choices over risk tell us?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 143-158, April.
    7. Wieland Mueller & Eline van der Heijden & Tobias J. Klein & Jan Potters, 2011. "Nudges and Impatience: Evidence from a Large Scale Experiment," Vienna Economics Papers 1110, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    8. Jordan, Jeffrey L. & Castillio, Marco & Ferraro, Paul J. & Petrie, Regan, 2008. "Estimating Child Time Preferences: Aiding Rural Schools in Improving Human Capital Formation," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6368, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Peri, Massimo & Vandone, Daniela & Baldi, Lucia, 2014. "Internet, noise trading and commodity futures prices," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 82-89.
    10. Luisa ANDERLONI & Daniela VANDONE, 2011. "Vulnerabilità e benessere delle famiglie italiane," Departmental Working Papers 2011-40, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    11. Marques Benton & Krista Blair & Marianne Crowe & Scott Schuh, 2007. "The Boston Fed study of consumer behavior and payment choice: a survey of Federal Reserve System employees," Public Policy Discussion Paper 07-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    12. Berg, Nathan & Eckel, Catherine & Johnson, Cathleen, 2010. "Inconsistency Pays?: Time-inconsistent subjects and EU violators earn more," MPRA Paper 26589, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles D., 2013. "Discounting financial literacy: Time preferences and participation in financial education programs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 159-174.
    14. Massimo PERI & Daniela VANDONE & Lucia BALDI, 2012. "Internet, noise trading and commodity prices," Departmental Working Papers 2012-07, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    15. Jordan, Jeffrey L. & Anil, Bulent & Herbert, Velma & Chatterjee, Swan, 2009. "Human Capital Investments in Education and Home Stability: Exploring Education, Homeownership and Poverty," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49320, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    16. Ottaviani, Cristina & Vandone, Daniela, 2011. "Impulsivity and household indebtedness: Evidence from real life," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 754-761.
    17. Hernán Bejarano & Francisco Galarza, 2016. "Can cognitive skills and risk aversion explain inconsistent choices? An experiment," Working Papers 16-03, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    18. Marques Benton & Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2007. "Overborrowing and undersaving: lessons and policy implications from research in behavioral economics," Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers 2007-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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    Keywords

    Consumer credit;

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