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Does Price Regulation Affect Competition? Evidence from Credit Card Solicitations

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  • Yiwei Dou
  • Geng Li
  • Joshua Ronen

Abstract

We study the unintended consequences of consumer financial regulations, focusing on the CARD Act, which restricts consumer credit card issuers? ability to raise interest rates. We estimate the competitive responsiveness-the degree to which a credit card issuer changes offered interest rates in response to changes in interest rates offered by its competitors-as a measure of competition in the credit card market. Using small business card offers, which are not subject to the Act, as a control group, we find a significant decline in the competitive responsiveness after the Act. The decline in responsiveness is more pronounced for competitors? reductions, as opposed to increases, in interest rates, and is more pronounced in areas with more subprime borrowers. The reduced competition underscores the potential unintended consequence of regulating the consumer credit market and contributes toward a more comprehensive and balanced evaluation of the costs and benefits of consumer financial regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Yiwei Dou & Geng Li & Joshua Ronen, 2019. "Does Price Regulation Affect Competition? Evidence from Credit Card Solicitations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2019-018, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2019-18
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2019.018
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    File URL: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/feds/files/2019018pap.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CARD Act; Competitive responsiveness; Credit card market; Regulations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers

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