Financial Media as a Money Doctor: Evidence from Refinancing Decisions
68 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020 Last revised: 21 Aug 2021
Date Written: October 2, 2020
We find that the viewership of business television raises the propensity of households to refinance their homes when doing so is financially advantageous. To estimate the effect of business TV, we exploit the staggered entry of Fox Business Network (FBN) into zip-codes across the U.S. Exposure to FBN is associated with a 6.5% increase in local refinancing volume in response to a 100 bps drop in mortgage interest rates. We confirm the media effect on refinancing by using an instrument for TV viewership, which exploits exogenous variation in the channels’ ordinal positions. The media influence is stronger for minority and riskier applicants. Overall, business TV likely raises financial awareness and serves as a nudge against inertia.
Keywords: media, household finance, financial literacy, refinancing
JEL Classification: G50, G51, G53, R20, R21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation