IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/13822.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Learning in the Credit Card Market

Author

Listed:
  • Sumit Agarwal
  • John C. Driscoll
  • Xavier Gabaix
  • David Laibson

Abstract

Agents with more experience make better choices. We measure learning dynamics using a panel with four million monthly credit card statements. We study add-on fees, specifically cash advance, late payment, and overlimit fees. New credit card accounts generate fee payments of $15 per month. Through negative feedback -- i.e. paying a fee -- consumers learn to avoid triggering future fees. Paying a fee last month reduces the likelihood of paying a fee in the current month by about 40%. Controlling for account fixed effects, monthly fee payments fall by 75% during the first three years of account life. We find that learning is not monotonic. Knowledge effectively depreciates about 10% per month, implying that learning displays a strong recency effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2008. "Learning in the Credit Card Market," NBER Working Papers 13822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13822
    Note: AG AP LE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13822.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
    3. Agarwal, Sumit & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Liu, Chunlin & Souleles, Nicholas S., 2005. "Do consumers choose the right credit contracts?," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/32, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    4. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
    5. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    6. Malmendier, Ulrike & Shanthikumar, Devin, 2007. "Are small investors naive about incentives?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 457-489, August.
    7. Sougata Kerr & Lucia Dunn & Stephen Cosslett, 2004. "Do Banks Use Private Information from Consumer Accounts? Evidence of Relationship Lending in Credit Card Interest Rate Heterogeneity," Working Papers 04-08, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1994. "Expectations and Learning under Alternative Monetary Regimes: An Experimental Approach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(1), pages 131-162, January.
    9. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2005. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000643, UCLA Department of Economics.
    10. Peter Thompson, 2001. "How Much Did the Liberty Shipbuilders Learn? New Evidence for an Old Case Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 103-137, February.
    11. Salvador Barrios & Eric Strobl, 2004. "Learning by Doing and Spillovers: Evidence from Firm-Level Panel Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 25(2), pages 175-203, June.
    12. Miao, Chun-Hui, 2010. "Consumer myopia, standardization and aftermarket monopolization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 931-946, October.
    13. Crawford, Vincent P, 1995. "Adaptive Dynamics in Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 103-143, January.
    14. Calem, Paul S & Mester, Loretta J, 1995. "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of Credit-Card Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1327-1336, December.
    15. Pakes, Ariel & Pollard, David, 1989. "Simulation and the Asymptotics of Optimization Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1027-1057, September.
    16. Sumit Agarwal & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2007. "The Reaction of Consumer Spending and Debt to Tax Rebates-Evidence from Consumer Credit Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 986-1019, December.
    17. Lemieux, Thomas & MacLeod, W. Bentley, 2000. "Supply side hysteresis: the case of the Canadian unemployment insurance system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 139-170, October.
    18. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
    19. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
    20. Piccione, Michele & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1997. "On the Interpretation of Decision Problems with Imperfect Recall," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, July.
    21. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2018. "Shrouded attributes, consumer myopia and information suppression in competitive markets," Chapters, in: Victor J. Tremblay & Elizabeth Schroeder & Carol Horton Tremblay (ed.), Handbook of Behavioral Industrial Organization, chapter 3, pages 40-74, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Enrichetta Ravina, 2005. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Evidence from Micro Data," 2005 Meeting Papers 557, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    23. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The Absent-Minded Consumer," NBER Working Papers 10216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
    25. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
    26. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Learning Your Earning: Are Labor Income Shocks Really Very Persistent?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 687-712, June.
    27. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Marimon, Ramon, 2001. "Convergence In Monetary Inflation Models With Heterogeneous Learning Rules," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, February.
    28. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect of Information on Product Quality: Evidence from Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451.
    29. Lehrer, Ehud, 1988. "Repeated games with stationary bounded recall strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 130-144, October.
    30. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
    31. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2003. "Choosing the Wrong Calling Plan? Ignorance and Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 297-310, March.
    32. Kerr, Sougata & Dunn, Lucia, 2008. "Consumer Search Behavior in the Changing Credit Card Market," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 345-353.
    33. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-583, August.
    34. Charles D. Bailey, 1989. "Forgetting and the Learning Curve: A Laboratory Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 340-352, March.
    35. 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.
    36. Rebecca Achee Thornton & Peter Thompson, 2001. "Learning from Experience and Learning from Others: An Exploration of Learning and Spillovers in Wartime Shipbuilding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
    37. Ran Spiegler, 2006. "The Market for Quacks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1113-1131.
    38. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    39. Oster Sharon M. & Scott Morton Fiona M., 2005. "Behavioral Biases Meet the Market: The Case of Magazine Subscription Prices," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, March.
    40. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    41. repec:hrv:faseco:33078973 is not listed on IDEAS
    42. John B. Van Huyck & Raymond C. Battalio & Richard O. Beil, 1991. "Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 885-910.
    43. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
    44. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Yan Yuan & Toshiyuki Sueyoshi, 2017. "Effects of balance transfer offers on consumer short-term finance: evidence from credit card data," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, December.
    3. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    4. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2018. "Shrouded attributes, consumer myopia and information suppression in competitive markets," Chapters, in: Victor J. Tremblay & Elizabeth Schroeder & Carol Horton Tremblay (ed.), Handbook of Behavioral Industrial Organization, chapter 3, pages 40-74, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Johri, Alok & Letendre, Marc-André & Luo, Daqing, 2011. "Organizational capital and the international co-movement of investment," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 511-523.
    6. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "Consumption and Saving: Models of Intertemporal Allocation and Their Implications for Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 693-751, September.
    7. Sumit Agarwal & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Chunlin Liu & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2015. "Do Consumers Choose the Right Credit Contracts?," Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 239-257.
    8. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2005. "Learning-by-Doing, Organizational Forgetting, and Industry Dynanmics," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 236, Society for Computational Economics.
    9. Apurba Shee & Spiro E. Stefanou, 2016. "Bounded learning-by-doing and sources of firm level productivity growth in colombian food manufacturing industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 185-197, December.
    10. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski & Yaroslav Kryukov & Mark Satterthwaite, 2007. "Learning-by-Doing, Organizational Forgetting, and Industry Dynamics," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000903, UCLA Department of Economics.
    11. Hong Ru & Antoinette Schoar, 2020. "Do credit card companies screen for behavioural biases?," BIS Working Papers 842, Bank for International Settlements.
    12. Andrew Clarke, 2008. "Learning-by-Doing and Productivity Dynamics in Manufacturing Industries," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1032, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Agarwal, Sumit & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Liu, Chunlin & Souleles, Nicholas S., 2005. "Do consumers choose the right credit contracts?," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/32, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    14. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski & Yaroslav Kryukov & Mark Satterthwaite, 2008. "Learning-by-Doing, Organizational Forgetting, and Industry Dynamics," GSIA Working Papers 2009-E22, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    15. Luca Colombo & Paola Labrecciosa, 2012. "Inter-firm knowledge diffusion, market power, and welfare," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 1009-1027, November.
    16. Thompson, Peter, 2010. "Learning by Doing," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 429-476, Elsevier.
    17. Anelí Bongers, 2017. "Learning and forgetting in the jet fighter aircraft industry," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(9), pages 1-19, September.
    18. Francisco Gomes & Michael Haliassos & Tarun Ramadorai, 2021. "Household Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 919-1000, September.
    19. Clarke, Andrew J. & Johri, Alok, 2009. "Procyclical Solow Residuals Without Technology Shocks," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 366-389, June.
    20. Adams, Paul & Hunt, Stefan & Palmer, Christopher & Zaliauskas, Redis, 2021. "Testing the effectiveness of consumer financial disclosure: Experimental evidence from savings accounts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 122-147.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13822. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.