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Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing

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  • Meier, Stephan

    () (Columbia University)

  • Sprenger, Charles

    () (Stanford University)

Abstract

Some individuals borrow extensively on their credit cards. This paper tests whether present-biased time preferences correlate with credit card borrowing. In a field study, we elicit individual time preferences with incentivized choice experiments, and match resulting time preference measures to individual credit reports and annual tax returns. The results indicate that present-biased individuals are more likely to have credit card debt, and have significantly higher amounts of credit card debt, controlling for disposable income, other socio-demographics, and credit constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2009. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," IZA Discussion Papers 4198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4198
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    field experiment; credit card borrowing; dynamic inconsistency; time preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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