The Impact of Credit Cards on Spending: A Field Experiment
29 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2009 Last revised: 21 Sep 2010
Date Written: April 13, 2009
In a field experiment, we measure the impact of payment with credit card as compared with cash on insurance company employees' spending on lunch in a cafeteria. We exogenously changed some diners' payment medium from cash to a credit card by giving them an incentive to pay with a credit card. Surprisingly, we find that credit cards do not increase spending. However, the use of credit cards has a differential impact on spending for revolvers and convenience users: Revolvers spend less when induced to spend with a credit card, whereas convenience users display the opposite pattern.
Keywords: Credit cards, spending, field experiments
JEL Classification: C93, D1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation