Crowdsourcing Financial Information to Change Spending Behavior

49 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2019

See all articles by Francesco D'Acunto

Francesco D'Acunto

Boston College

Alberto Rossi

University of Maryland - Department of Finance

Michael Weber

University of Chicago - Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 21, 2019


We document five effects of providing individuals with crowdsourced spending information about their peers (individuals with similar characteristics) through a FinTech app. First, users who spend more than their peers reduce their spending significantly, whereas users who spend less keep constant or increase their spending. Second, users' distance from their peers' spending affects the reaction monotonically in both directions. Third, users' reaction is asymmetric – spending cuts are three times as large as increases. Fourth, lower-income users react more than others. Fifth, discretionary spending drives the reaction in both directions and especially cash withdrawals, which are commonly used for incidental expenses and anonymous transactions. We argue Bayesian updating, peer pressure, or the fact that bad news looms more than (equally-sized) good news cannot alone explain all these facts.

Keywords: FinTech, Learning, Beliefs and Expectations, Peer Pressure, Financial Decision-Making, Saving, Consumer Finance

JEL Classification: D12, D14, D91, E22, G41

Suggested Citation

D'Acunto, Francesco and Rossi, Alberto and Weber, Michael, Crowdsourcing Financial Information to Change Spending Behavior (February 21, 2019). Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 19-09; Fama-Miller Working Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Francesco D'Acunto

Boston College ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Alberto Rossi

University of Maryland - Department of Finance ( email )

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Michael Weber (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Finance ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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