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Price-increasing competition: the curious case of overdraft versus deferred deposit credit

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  • Brian T. Melzer
  • Donald P. Morgan

Abstract

We find that banks charge more for overdraft credit when depositors have access to a potential substitute: deferred deposit ("payday") credit. We attribute this rise in prices partly to adverse selection created by banks' practice of charging a flat fee regardless of the overdraft amount--pricing that favors depositors prone to large overdrafts. When deferred deposit credit priced per dollar borrowed is available, depositors prone to small overdrafts switch to that option. That selection works against banks; large overdrafts cost more to supply and, if depositors default, banks lose more, so prices rise. Consistent with this adverse-selection hypothesis, we document that the average dollar amount per returned check at banks and other depository institutions increases when depositors have access to deferred deposit credit. Beyond documenting another case of price-increasing competition, our findings bear on theories of adverse selection in credit markets and contribute to the debate over the pros and cons of payday credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian T. Melzer & Donald P. Morgan, 2009. "Price-increasing competition: the curious case of overdraft versus deferred deposit credit," Staff Reports 391, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:391
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kwangwoo Park & George Pennacchi, 2009. "Harming Depositors and Helping Borrowers: The Disparate Impact of Bank Consolidation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 1-40, January.
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    3. Robert DeYoung & Ronnie J. Phillips, 2009. "Payday loan pricing," Research Working Paper RWP 09-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    4. Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Suslow, Valerie Y. & Seguin, Paul J., 1995. "Higher Prices from Entry: Pricing of Brand-Name Drugs," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt75g4k1nt, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    6. Hannan, Timothy H., 2006. "Retail deposit fees and multimarket banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 2561-2578, September.
    7. Donald P. Morgan & Michael R. Strain, 2007. "Payday holiday: how households fare after payday credit bans," Staff Reports 309, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    8. Brian T. Melzer, 2011. "The Real Costs of Credit Access: Evidence from the Payday Lending Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 517-555.
    9. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    10. Marc Fusaro, 2008. "Hidden Consumer Loans: An Analysis of Implicit Interest Rates on Bounced Checks," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 251-263, June.
    11. Ausubel, Lawrence M, 1991. "The Failure of Competition in the Credit Card Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 50-81, March.
    12. repec:cdl:agrebk:5326 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2008. "Price-increasing competition," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 1042-1058.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacint Balaguer & José Pernías, 2011. "Measuring the effect of local competition on prices in a context of spatial differentiation," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 109-116, July.
    2. Marc Fusaro & Richard Ericson, 2010. "The Welfare Economics of “Bounce Protection” Programs," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 55-73, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overdrafts ; Bank competition ; Banks and banking - Service charges ; Bank deposits;

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