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Evidence on the objectives of bank managers

  • Joseph P. Hughes
  • Loretta J. Mester

Analyzing data from the 1989 Survey of Consumer Finances, we find credit card borrowing is inversely correlated with a household’s willingness to comparison shop for loans and deposits. Households with larger balances have higher disutility of search, ceteris paribus. In addition, these households are more likely to be rejected or to be granted a lower-than-desired credit limit when applying for new credit, and so may find it difficult to switch from one card issuer to another. This partly explains the stickiness of card interest rates and why issuers enjoy above-average returns despite the industry’s competitive structure.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Proceedings with number 46.

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Length: 496-500
Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Conference on Bank Structure and Competition (1994 : 30th)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:46
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  1. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, . "A Quality and Risk-Adjusted Cost Function for Banks: Evidence on the "Too-Big-To-Fail" Doctrine," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 25-92, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Mester, Loretta J., 1991. "Agency costs among savings and loans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 257-278, June.
  3. Timothy H. Hannan & Gerald A. Hanweck, 1986. "Bank insolvency risk and the market for large certificates of deposit," Working Papers in Banking, Finance and Microeconomics 86-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Hunter, William C & Timme, Stephen G & Yang, Won Keun, 1990. "An Examination of Cost Subadditivity and Multiproduct Production in Large U.S. Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(4), pages 504-25, November.
  5. Loretta J. Mester, 1990. "Traditional and nontraditional banking: an information-theoretic approach," Working Papers 90-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Paul J. Gertler & Donald M. Waldman, 1990. "Quality Adjusted Cost Functions," NBER Working Papers 3567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. McAllister, Patrick H. & McManus, Douglas, 1993. "Resolving the scale efficiency puzzle in banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 389-405, April.
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