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Are Information Disclosures Effective? Evidence from the Credit Card Market

Enrique Seira, Alan Elizondo and Eduardo Laguna-Müggenburg

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2017, vol. 9, issue 1, 277-307

Abstract: Consumer protection in financial markets in the form of information disclosure is high on government agendas, even though there is little evidence of its effectiveness. We implement a randomized control trial in the credit card market for a large population of indebted cardholders and measure the impact of Truth-in-Lending-Act-type disclosures, de-biasing warning messages and social comparison information on default, indebtedness, account closings, and credit scores. We conduct extensive external validity exercises in several banks, with different disclosures, and with actual policy mandates. We find that providing salient interest rate disclosures had no effects, while comparisons and de-biasing messages had only modest effects at best.

JEL-codes: D14 D83 G21 G28 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20140404
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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:277-307