Jeremy Tobacman

416A Purnell Hall
Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Delaware

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2009Payday Loans and Credit Cards: New Liquidity and Credit Scoring Puzzles?
with Sumit Agarwal, Paige M. Skiba: w14659
Using a unique dataset matched at the individual level from two administrative sources, we examine household choices between liabilities and assess the informational content of prime and subprime credit scores in the consumer credit market. First, more specifically, we assess consumers' effectiveness at prioritizing use of their lowest-cost credit option. We find that most borrowers from one payday lender who also have a credit card from a major credit card issuer have substantial credit card liquidity on the days they take out their payday loans. This is costly because payday loans have annualized interest rates of at least several hundred percent, though perhaps partly explained by the fact that borrowers have experienced substantial declines in credit card liquidity in the year leading ...

Published: Agarwal, Sumit, Paige Marta Skiba, and Jeremy Tobacman. "Payday Loans and Credit Cards: New Liquidity and Credit Scoring Puzzles?" American Economic Review 99, 2 (2009): 412-417. citation courtesy of

August 2007Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle
with David Laibson, Andrea Repetto: w13314
Intertemporal preferences are difficult to measure. We estimate time preferences using a structural buffer stock consumption model and the Method of Simulated Moments. The model includes stochastic labor income, liquidity constraints, child and adult dependents, liquid and illiquid assets, revolving credit, retirement, and discount functions that allow short-run and long-run discount rates to differ. Data on retirement wealth accumulation, credit card borrowing, and consumption-income comovement identify the model. Our benchmark estimates imply a 40% short-term annualized discount rate and a 4.3% long-term annualized discount rate. Almost all specifications reject the restriction to a constant discount rate. Our quantitative results are sensitive to assumptions about the return on illiquid...
September 2000A Debt Puzzle
with David Laibson, Andrea Repetto: w7879
Over 60% of US households with credit cards are currently borrowing -- i.e., paying interest -- on those cards. We attempt to reconcile the high rate of credit card borrowing with observed levels of life cycle wealth accumulation. We simulate a lifecycle model with five properties that create demand for credit card borrowing. First, the calibrated labor income path slopes upward early in life. Second, income has transitory shocks. Third, consumers invest actively in an illiquid asset, which is sufficiently illiquid that it can not be used to smooth transitory income shocks. Fourth, consumers may declare bankruptcy, reducing the effective cost of credit card borrowing. Fifth, households have relatively more dependents early in the life-cycle. Our calibrated model predicts that 20% of...

Published: Aghion, Philippe, Roman Frydman, Joseph Stiglitz, and Michael Woodford (eds.) Knowledge, Information and Expectations in Modern Macroeconomics: In Honor of Edmund S. Phelps. Princeton University Press, 2003.

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