IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A model of money and credit, with application to the credit card debt puzzle

  • Irina A. Telyukova
  • Randall Wright

Many individuals simultaneously have significant credit card debt and money in the bank. The credit card debt puzzle is: given high interest rates on credit cards and low rates on bank accounts, why not pay down debt? While some economists go to elaborate lengths to explain this, we argue it is a special case of the rate-of-return-dominance puzzle from monetary economics. We extend standard monetary theory to incorporate consumer debt, which is interesting in its own right since developing models where money and credit coexist is a long-standing challenge. Our model is quite tractable—e.g., it readily yields nice existence and characterization results—and helps puts into context recent discussions of consumer debt.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0711.

in new window

Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0711
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1455 East 6th St., Cleveland OH 44114
Phone: 216.579.2000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2000. "A Debt Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, . ""A Rudimentary Model of Search with Divisible Money and Prices''," CARESS Working Papres 95-17, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  3. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2006. "Finite-Life, Private-Information Theory of Unsecured Debt," 2006 Meeting Papers 781, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Michael Haliassos & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Credit Card Debt Puzzles," Working Papers 233, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "Money Is Memory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 232-251, August.
  6. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "Dynamics, cycles and sunspot equilibria in "genuinely dynamic, fundamentally disaggregative" models of money," Working Paper 0210, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Ruilin Zhou, 1996. "Individual and Aggregate Real Balances in a Random Matching Model," GE, Growth, Math methods 9612001, EconWPA, revised 23 Dec 1996.
  8. Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002. "A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default," Centro de Alti­simos Estudios Ri­os Pe©rez(CAERP) 2, Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP).
  9. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2004. "A unified framework for monetary theory and policy analysis," Staff Report 346, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Telyukova, Irina A., 2007. "Household Need for Liquidity and the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," MPRA Paper 6674, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. S. Boragan Aruoba & Christopher J. Waller & Randall Wright, 2007. "Money and capital," Working Paper 0714, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Zhu, Tao, 2003. "Existence of a monetary steady state in a matching model: indivisible money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 307-324, October.
  13. Athanasios Geromichalos & Juan M Licari & Jose Suarez-Lledo, 2007. "Monetary Policy and Asset Prices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 761-779, October.
  14. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera, 2004. "Money, Credit, and Banking," 2004 Meeting Papers 473, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. D. Aliprantis, C. & Camera, G. & Puzzello, D., 2007. "Anonymous markets and monetary trading," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1905-1928, October.
  16. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints And Interest Rates Matter For Consumer Behavior? Evidence From Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185, February.
  17. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2004. "Money and capital as competing media of exchange," Staff Report 341, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Christopher Waller & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2005. "Bargaining in Monetary Economies," 2005 Meeting Papers 55, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Andreas Lehnert & Dean M. Maki, 2002. "Consumption, debt and portfolio choice: testing the effect of bankruptcy law," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2003. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  21. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "Inside and outside money as alternative media of exchange," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 443-468.
  22. Shi Shougong, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-496, December.
  23. Ricardo Lagos, 2005. "Asset Prices and Liquidity in an Exchange Economy," 2005 Meeting Papers 143, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Stephen Williamson, 2004. "Search, Limited Participation, and Monetary Policy," 2004 Meeting Papers 214, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Shi, Shouyong, 1996. "Credit and Money in a Search Model with Divisible Commodities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 627-52, October.
  26. Miguel Molico, 2006. "The Distribution Of Money And Prices In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 701-722, 08.
  27. Camera, G. & Corbae, D., 1998. "Money and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 98-03, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  28. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, 2000. "Dynamic monetary equilibrium in a random-matching economy," Working Paper Series WP-00-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  29. Carol C. Bertaut & Michael Haliassos, 2001. "Debt Revolvers for Self Control," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 0208, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  30. Dean Corbae & Ted Temzelides & Randall Wright, 2003. "Directed Matching and Monetary Exchange," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 731-756, 05.
  31. Ping He & Lixin Huang & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money And Banking In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 637-670, 05.
  32. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "A model of private bank-note issue," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 104-136, January.
  33. Wallace, Neil, 2001. "Whither Monetary Economics?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 847-69, November.
  34. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0711. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lee Faulhaber)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.