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Author:Stango, Victor 

Working Paper
Limited and varying consumer attention: evidence from shocks to the salience of bank overdraft fees

The authors explore dynamics of limited attention in the $35 billion market for checking overdrafts, using survey content as shocks to the salience of overdraft fees. Conditional on selection into surveys, individuals who face overdraft-related questions are less likely to incur a fee in the survey month. Taking multiple overdraft surveys builds a "stock" of attention that reduces overdrafts for up to two years. The effects are significant among consumers with lower education and financial literacy. Consumers avoid overdrafts not by increasing balances but by making fewer debit ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-17

Working Paper
We Are All Behavioral, More or Less: Measuring and Using Consumer-Level Behavioral Sufficient Statistics

Can a behavioral sufficient statistic empirically capture cross-consumer variation in behavioral tendencies and help identify whether behavioral biases, taken together, are linked to material consumer welfare losses? Our answer is yes. We construct simple consumer-level behavioral sufficient statistics??B-counts??by eliciting seventeen potential sources of behavioral biases per person, in a nationally representative panel, in two separate rounds nearly three years apart. B-counts aggregate information on behavioral biases within-person. Nearly all consumers exhibit multiple biases, in ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-14

Working Paper
Price ceilings as focal points for tacit collusion: evidence from credit cards

We test whether a non-binding price ceiling may serve as a focal point for tacit collusion. Our sample contains data from the credit card market during the 1980s; in the sample, most credit card issuers face a state-level interest rate ceiling, and well over half match their ceiling. Our empirical model explicitly allows for the possibility that ceilings may have been binding. The model yields evidence in favor of tacit collusion: a statistically significant proportion of issuers match their ceiling even though it is not binding. Within a state, tacit collusion is less likely as the ceiling ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-01-12

Working Paper
Compatibility and pricing with indirect network effects: evidence from ATMs

Incompatibility in markets with indirect network effects can reduce consumers? willingness to pay if they value ?mix and match? combinations of complementary network components. For integrated firms selling complementary components, incompatibility should also strengthen the demand-side link between components. In this paper, we examine the effects of incompatibility using data from a classic market with indirect network effects: Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Our sample covers a period during which higher ATM fees increased incompatibility between ATM cards and other banks? ATM machines. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-03-33

Working Paper
Supplier switching and outsourcing

We examine supplier switching decisions using a unique database that tracks firms (credit unions) and their suppliers (data processing vendors); the data are in a panel, allowing us to track supplier switching decisions at a new level of detail. We focus on two sets of relationships. First, we estimate a model that relates supplier choices and switching to a variety of buyer- and supplier-specific characteristics. Second, we examine how> switching depends on the vendor relationships that credit unions choose: one is a partial form of outsourcing while the other is more complete. This allows ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-05-22

Working Paper
Strategic responses to regulatory threat in the credit card market

In November 1991, federal lawmakers threatened to place a binding cap on credit card interest rates. I find that credit card rates declined following the regulatory threat, more so for larger and more politically visible credit card issuers. A set of stock market event studies reveals that interest rate cuts announced after the threat led to positive abnormal returns, both for announcing issuers and their rivals. This pattern does not exist for similar rate cuts made outside the period of regulatory threat. The results suggest that firms may experience private benefits to price-cutting when ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-02-02

Journal Article
Outsourcing, firm size, and product complexity: evidence from credit unions

Outsourcing business services is a key concern in the modern economy. Focusing on data processing services for credit unions from 1994 to 2003, the authors find that both credit union size and the diversity of their product offerings influence the propensity to outsource. The results suggest that simple scale-economy-based explanations for outsourcing may be inadequate.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 29 , Issue Q I

Newsletter
The economics of standards: public policy and market performance

Chicago Fed Letter , Issue Aug

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