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Overconfidence in the Credit Card Market

Overconfidence in the Credit Card Market
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Author(s): Susan Kriete-Dodds (University of Basel, Switzerland) and Dietmar Maringer (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 19
Source title: Analyzing the Economics of Financial Market Infrastructures
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Martin Diehl (Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany), Biliana Alexandrova-Kabadjova (Banco de México, Mexico), Richard Heuver (De Nederlandsche Bank, The Netherlands) and Serafín Martínez-Jaramillo (Banco de México, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8745-5.ch008


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High credit card debt default has been symptomatic for the U.S. and other countries in the last decades. Different explanations for this situation exist in the literature. One explanation is overconfidence, which has become a key concept in behavioural economics for explaining anomalies in financial markets such as excessive trading volume. There is also the idea that overconfidence is to blame for high credit card debt. In this paper, an agent-based model is presented that examines the effects of overconfidence on credit card usage. Overconfidence is used here to explain why people who never intend to borrow on their credit card(s) do so anyway. The model contains consumption, two means of payment (credit card and cash), and a distortion to agents' income expectations via overconfidence. It was found that overconfidence leads to more “accidental” borrowing and higher interest rates.

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