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Credit Cards and Monetary Policy: Are Households still liquidity-constrained?

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  • Ryan R. Brady

    () (United States Naval Academy)

Abstract

That the lending channel is alive and well for consumer lending is at first glance a compelling notion given the growth in consumer credit. However, this paper demonstrates with disaggregated monthly and quarterly consumer credit data that households are awash in liquidity. Contrary to assumptions motivating the lending channel, households are not constrained in accessing credit from any lender (or in any form) in response to a monetary shock. The findings of this paper have important implications for research on the monetary transmission mechanism beyond the lending channel and for business cycle research in general.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryan R. Brady, 2006. "Credit Cards and Monetary Policy: Are Households still liquidity-constrained?," Departmental Working Papers 12, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:usn:usnawp:12
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    File URL: http://www.usna.edu/EconDept/RePEc/usn/wp/usnawp12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-346, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Cox, Donald & Jappelli, Tullio, 1993. "The Effect of Borrowing Constraints on Consumer Liabilities," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 197-213, May.
    4. Tullio Jappelli & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Nicholas S. Souleles, 1998. "Testing For Liquidity Constraints In Euler Equations With Complementary Data Sources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 251-262, May.
    5. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
    6. Edward Castronova & Paul Hagstrom, 2004. "The Demand for Credit Cards: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 304-318, April.
    7. Kenneth N. Kuttner & Patricia C. Mosser, 2002. "The monetary transmission mechanism: some answers and further questions," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 15-26.
    8. Orazio P. Attanasio & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 2008. "Credit Constraints In The Market For Consumer Durables: Evidence From Micro Data On Car Loans," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 401-436, May.
    9. Midori Wakabayashi & Charles Yuji Horioka, 2005. "Borrowing Constraints and Consumption Behavior in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0640, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    10. Òscar Jordà, 2005. "Estimation and Inference of Impulse Responses by Local Projections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 161-182, March.
    11. Ludvigson, Sydney, 1998. "The Channel of Monetary Transmission to Demand: Evidence from the Market for Automobile Credit," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 365-383, August.
    12. Brito, Dagobert L & Hartley, Peter R, 1995. "Consumer Rationality and Credit Cards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 400-433, April.
    13. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1978. "The Household Balance Sheet and the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 918-937, December.
    14. Demiralp, Selva & Jorda, Oscar, 2004. "The Response of Term Rates to Fed Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 387-405, June.
    15. Kartik B. Athreya, 2001. "The growth of unsecured credit : are we better off?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 11-33.
    16. Sydney Ludvigson, 1999. "Consumption And Credit: A Model Of Time-Varying Liquidity Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 434-447, August.
    17. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Tullio Jappelli, 1990. "Who is Credit Constrained in the U. S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-234.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brady, Ryan R., 2008. "Structural breaks and consumer credit: Is consumption smoothing finally a reality?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1246-1268, September.

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